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Beware of harmful foam on Michigan beaches

ALPENA, MI. – You might be preparing to head out to the beach this July fourth weekend.
But, did you know that the foam piled up on the shore may be harmful?

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services sent out a notice– they recommend Michiganders avoid foam on Michigan water bodies. Foam can form on any water body, and sometimes foam can have harmful chemicals in it. This can include high levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS-containing foam tends to be bright white in color, lightweight and may pile up along shores or blow onto beaches.

Natural foam without PFAS is usually off-white and/or brown in color, often has an earthy or fishy scent, and tends to pile up in bays, eddies or at river barriers such as dams. Young children who come in contact with these chemicals may be at risk for negative health effects.
If you happen to come in contact with this foam, MDHHS recommends that you rinse off quickly.
This safety tip goes for pets as well. If you’re animals enjoy the beach, be sure to guide them away from the foam as much as possible.