FOUNTAIN – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has chosen Fountain as one of the eight U.S. communities to take part in a study to determined the dangers of human exposure to polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
The CDC plans to randomly select people in the communities to participate in exposure assessments. Levels of PFAS will be checked through urine and blood sampling. The assessments will begin this year.
Contamination found in the Fountain water supply in 2016 was later discovered to originate from Peterson Air Force Base’s use of firefighting foam. Since the discovery of the source of the contamination, the City of Fountain has installed new groundwater treatment systems and say the drinking water supply is safe.
All of the communities selected for this effort are near active or closed Air Force or Air National Guard installations. (Full list below)
The CDC reports PFAS have been found in industrial and consumer products since the 1950’s. Including: in non-stick cookware; water-repellent clothing, stain-resistant fabrics and carpets; some cosmetics; some firefighting foams; and products that resist grease, water, and oil.
“Scientists are still learning about the health effects of exposure to PFAS. Some studies have shown that PFAS exposure may affect growth, learning, and behavior of infants and older children; lower a woman’s chance of getting pregnant; interfere with the body’s natural hormones; increase cholesterol levels; affect the immune system; and increase the risk of cancer,” the CDC states in a release.
Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency hosted a meeting in Fountain to explain how they regulate cancer-causing chemicals linked to firefighting foam used on Peterson Air Force Base.
The EPA’s plan is to recommend a new standard drinking water regulations by the end of the year which call for lower allowable levels of the potentially dangerous chemicals.
Communities taking part in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention assessments:
- Berkeley County (WV) near Shepherd Field Air National Guard Base
- El Paso County (CO) near Peterson Air Force Base
- Fairbanks North Star Borough (AK) near Eielson Air Force Base
- Hampden County (MA) near Barnes Air National Guard Base
- Lubbock County (TX) near Reese Technology Center (formerly Reese AFB)
- Orange County (NY) near Stewart Air National Guard Base
- New Castle County (DE) near New Castle Air National Guard Base
- Spokane County (WA) near Fairchild Air Force Base
PFAS Exposure Assessment or PFAS – https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfas/index.html
Call 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636)