Businesses in Franklin Asked to Close Pending More Air Quality Tests

Businesses in Franklin Asked to Close Pending More Air Quality Tests

(Oakland County Healthy Division, March 3, 2018)

Franklin, MI – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services notified Oakland County Health Division yesterday afternoon of a vapor intrusion involving the chemicals Trichloroethylene (TCE) and Tetrachloroethylene (PCE) in the Franklin Village Plaza at 32716-32744 Franklin Rd. in Franklin. Businesses have been encouraged to temporarily and voluntarily close. TCE and PCE are used in dry cleaning and metal degreasing and are likely present due to a previous dry cleaner and gas station that were on the property in the 1950s – 1970s. The current dry cleaner located in the plaza is neither responsible for this vapor intrusion nor do they conduct dry cleaning or store chemicals onsite.

This discovery is a result of Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s (MDEQ) ongoing statewide efforts to investigate indoor air quality resulting from known contamination sites. Samples are collected and analyzed to determine if risks to human health and the environment are present. MDEQ began taking indoor air samples at the Franklin Village Plaza site in February. Following these initial test results, MDEQ has taken immediate steps to reduce potential health risks. A second round of air quality testing will determine if additional steps are needed. Results are expected later next week.
“We are notifying the public out of our duty to inform of potential health risks. Not everyone gets sick from breathing these vapors,” said Dr. Pamela Hackert, medical director for Oakland County Health Division. “Health risks vary dependent on the level and length of exposure in addition to the health of the individual. If you have health concerns, talk to your doctor.”
Vapor intrusion occurs when vapors (gases) from volatile chemicals in contaminated soil and/or groundwater move through the soil and into buildings through cracks in floors, walls, and gaps around service pipes. In outdoor air, these vapors are often diluted to harmless levels. When trapped in an enclosed space like a home or building, these vapors can collect and impact the indoor air quality and pose a risk to health.
At low levels over a long period of time, PCE may cause color vision loss and changes in mood, memory, attention, and reaction time. Exposure to PCE and TCE could lead to higher risk of getting certain types of cancer and birth defects.
For more information, visit www.oakgov.com/health or call Environmental Health at 248-858-1312. For up-to-date public health information, follow @publichealthOC on Facebook and Twitter. For questions regarding the MDEQ Vapor Intrusion program, contact David Harn at 517-897-0881.

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