The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is expanding testing for toxic chemicals.

The Kalamazoo Gazette reports that the agency plans to identify an additional 25 residential wells near a paper factory landfill in Otsego to sample and test for perfluorinated chemicals, known as PFAS. The decision comes after the agency received test results that verified the presence of PFAS in residential drinking wells.

Chris Lantinga is with the department’s Kalamazoo District. He says the agency plans to conduct additional testing, including of soil samples from farms where sludge from the paper factory was applied.

This photo taken Oct. 16, 2018, shows farmer and Allegan County Commissioner Gale Dugan posing in one the fields outside of Otsego, Mich., that was treated with sludge provided by Menasha Corp. beginning in the 1980s. When Dugan had the paper byproduct spread on his crops he was assured by Menasha Corp. and the DEQ that it was safe, he said, but now there are concerns that it could be a source of chemicals found in drinking water wells. (Daniel Vasta/Kalamazoo Gazette via AP)
This photo taken Oct. 16, 2018, shows farmer and Allegan County Commissioner Gale Dugan posing in one the fields outside of Otsego, Mich., that was treated with sludge provided by Menasha Corp. beginning in the 1980s. When Dugan had the paper byproduct spread on his crops he was assured by Menasha Corp. and the DEQ that it was safe, he said, but now there are concerns that it could be a source of chemicals found in drinking water wells. (Daniel Vasta/Kalamazoo Gazette via AP)

The investigation began this spring after residents voiced concerns about people with cancer and other serious ailments in the area.

Exposure to PFAS has been linked in human studies to cancer, thyroid malfunction and other diseases.

This photo taken Oct. 20 2018, shows from left to right, Heather Bishop, Dave Heywood and Chris Lantinga of the DEQ, Steve Crider, Deb MacKenzie-Taylor, Laura Abington of MDHHS and Angelique Joynes of the Allegan County Health Department speaking to area residents  about the investigation of possible contaminants and health concerns in the Otsego, Mich., area. (Brad Devereaux /Kalamazoo Gazette via AP)
This photo taken Oct. 20 2018, shows from left to right, Heather Bishop, Dave Heywood and Chris Lantinga of the DEQ, Steve Crider, Deb MacKenzie-Taylor, Laura Abington of MDHHS and Angelique Joynes of the Allegan County Health Department speaking to area residents about the investigation of possible contaminants and health concerns in the Otsego, Mich., area. (Brad Devereaux /Kalamazoo Gazette via AP)

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Source: The Associated Press

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