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PFAS blood testing for Oscoda residents is now in full swing

Oscoda water tour
Teresa Homsi

Oscoda has five health advisories that warn of PFAS contamination in drinking water, venison, small game, fish, and foam. After years of community advocacy, health officials are now offering residents free blood tests for PFAS.

The blood tests are part of an exposure assessment to see how and where people are exposed to chemicals like PFAS. The assessment will help guide future public health actions and give residents a baseline of their own exposure.

Melissa Millerick-May is with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. She said health officials are recruiting volunteers for scheduled 30-minute clinic visits - where participants will fill out a questionnaire, complete a blood draw and provide a urine sample

“We are really excited about the interest that residents are showing with respect to participation in the project, and we look forward to continuing to recruit participants and schedule clinic visits,” Millerick-May said. "

Millerick-May said there is no cap to how many people can participate in the study, but said “the more, the better.”

"And as you can imagine, more people means that we can do a more detailed analysis," Millerick-May said. "We will recruit and schedule appointments until there's a natural attrition in community interests."

Millerick-May said participants will receive their test results and information they can share with health care providers, but the timeline is still being developed. The assessment is not focused on health outcomes.

To qualify, volunteers must be 12 years or older and current residents of Oscoda Township or Au Sable Township.

If you're interested in participating, call 844-464-7327 or email to learn more or schedule an appointment with the health department.

Teresa Homsi is an environmental reporter and Report for America Corp Member based in northern Michigan for WCMU. She is covering rural environmental issues, public health and Michigan commerce. Homsi has a bachelor’s from Central Michigan University in environmental studies, journalism and anthropology. During her undergraduate, she was a beat reporter for CMU’s student newspaper Central Michigan Life and interned for the Huron Daily Tribune. She has also interned for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy in the superfund section. *Report for America is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms, more info at