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Study Results: The Closer You Live to PFAS Contaminated Wells and the Longer You Live There, The Higher The Level of PFAS In Your Blood!

Study Results: The Closer You Live to PFAS Contaminated Wells and the Longer You Live There, The Higher The Level of PFAS In Your Blood! | Newtown News of Interest |

Pennsylvania health official provided more details on a chemical blood testing study conducted last year near military bases in Bucks and Montgomery counties.


Long-term residents, men, and those living closest to military bases in Bucks and Montgomery counties have the highest levels of firefighting chemicals in their blood, according to a presentation given by Pennsylvania Department of Health officials at the Horsham Township Library on Monday night (April 29. 2019).


The presentation offered the latest details on a blood testing program the department conducted last year. The test enlisted 235 residents of Horsham, Warrington, and Warminster to have their blood drawn. While the department previously made public that residents of all three towns had elevated levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in their blood, officials Monday presented more complex analysis.


Sharon Watkins, director of the Bureau of Epidemiology, said scientists found that in addition to higher levels of PFAS being found in those groups, those who used private wells as opposed to public water supplies, those who drank more tap water, and those with a higher body mass index had elevated PFAS levels. But after putting the data for statistical rigors, some stuck out more than others.


“When we did that, one of the primary findings was that the average serum levels ... were positively associated with drinking water source and total length of residence in the study area,” Watkins said. “If you lived in the area more than 10 years, you generally had higher levels of PFAS.”


Township-by-township results showed that Horsham residents had the highest levels of the four PFAS that were tested for: PFOS, PFOA, PFHxS, and PFNA. The first chemical is the one most closely associated with firefighting foam use, and testing results showed the 69 people tested in Horsham had an average of 12.38 parts per billion (ppb) in their blood, compared to a national average of about 4.72 ppb.


PFOS levels in Warminster averaged 10.06 ppb, and Warrington was split: a 11.47 ppb average in a district that used groundwater for the public system, and 5.65 ppb in a system that traditionally purchased water from the North Wales Water Authority.


Since the contamination was discovered, the water systems in all three towns have implemented zero-tolerance plans to remove the chemicals down to nondetectable levels.


Read more to learn about plans to study if there is a link between PFAS in blood to increased cahnce of developing cancer.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Related stories:


  • “PA Senator Maria Collett Introduces Two PFAS Bills - Classifying PFAS as Hazardous Substances & Lowering "Safe" Limits in Drinking Water to 10 ppt vs EPA's 70 ppt”;
  • “Editorial: EPA Spins Its Wheels on Setting Maximum Contaminant Level for PFAS”;
  • “As EPA Launches National PFAS Plan, Pennsylvania Says Its People “Can’t Wait” for Federal Government & Launches Its Own Plan to Set Lower Health Limits for PFOA and PFOS”;
  • “PFAS From Tainted Water on Military Bases My Be Spreading to Other Towns in Bucks, Montco”;
  • “Perfluorinated Compounds Detected in Newtown Township's Water Supply”;
  • “Senators From BOTH Parties Press EPA to Develop Enforceable Standards Limiting PFOA and PFOS in Drinking Water”;
  • “U.S. House Launches Bipartisan PFAS Task Force That Promises to Set Formal Drinking Water Standard for PFAS”;
  • “NJ Department of Environmental Protection Set to Regulate PFOS, PFOA in Drinking Water. Safe Limits Will Be Much Lower Than Recommended by the PA DEP.”;
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Newtown News of Interest
These Scoops are excerpts from articles published in local newspapers and other sources that may be of interest to Newtown area residents. Please click on the "From" link to access the full original article. Any opinions and "insights" appended to these article summaries are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
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