By Sara Powers

(CBS DETROIT) – As the weather is warming up and people visit Michigan throughout the summer, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is recommending that visitors avoid any foam on any waterbodies, including lakes, rivers, and streams.

MDHHS officials say foam can form on any body of water and can have harmful chemicals in it.

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The chemicals can include per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) which tends to appear as lightweight and bright white in color, and cal pile up along shores.

According to an evaluation by the MDHHS, foam containing PFAS can have negative effects on children if they come into contact with the foam for multiple hours a day.

Officials recommend washing off the foam as soon as possible if an individual comes into contact with the foam.

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“Studies have shown that the risk of PFAS getting into your body from skin contact is low, but you can accidentally swallow PFAS or other chemicals and bacteria if you do not rinse off or bathe after coming into contact with foam,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS chief medical executive. “Washing your hands and rinsing off after water activities can protect you from chemicals or bacteria that may be in water or foam.”

In addition to this, if animals come into contact with foam, they should be rinsed off with fresh water, as they foam can build up in their fur.

Anyone with questions about exposure to PFAS or foam can call the MDHHS Environmental Health hotline at 800-648-6942. More information is available on the MPART website.

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