FOUNTAIN – University of Colorado researchers will present their findings of a study examining the health effects of groundwater contamination in the Security-Widefield and Fountain area.
The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the First United Methodist Church off of N. Santa Fe Avenue in Fountain. The event is free and open to the public.
CU researchers determined that people living near Peterson Air Force Base have some of the highest levels of Perfluorinated Chemicals (PFC) contamination in their blood compared to other locations in the U.S. affected by groundwater contamination.
The researchers said the level of PFC contamination in blood was 10 times higher than the national average, and the median levels of contamination were the highest in the nation for locations near Department of Defense sites that had free blood testing.
As News 5 has reported, the contamination is believed to have been introduced into the aquifer by firefighting foam that was used by Peterson Air Force Base.
PFC contamination in drinking water can increase the chance of being diagnosed with cancer, experiencing liver damage and decreased fertility.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established an advisory level for the PFCs at 70 parts per trillion in 2016. For context, 70 parts per trillion is equivalent to a drop of ink in a backyard swimming pool.
A report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released in June even cast doubt on that advisory level, saying PFCs could still be more harmful at levels lower than 70 parts per trillion.