Blood testing of residents in three communities south of Colorado Springs showed they had high levels of toxic chemicals believed to stem from past use of firefighting foam at Peterson AFB, according to preliminary results released by the Colorado School of Public Health and the Colorado School of Mines. “The compounds measured are relatively consistent with the idea these are coming from firefighting foam use,” said Christopher Higgins, a researcher involved in the study of 220 people.
Residents from Security, Widefield and Fountain had levels of PFOS in their blood that were about twice as high as the general U.S. population; residents’ levels of PFOA were 40 percent to 70 percent higher than other Americans. Residents’ average levels of another PFAS chemical, PFHxS, were about 10 times higher than the general population. EPA is primarily focused only on PFOS and PFOA, though. In comparison to other PFAS chemicals, PFHxS is more difficult to remove from drinking water because of its small size and stays in the body longer, reported the Colorado Springs Gazette.
Photo courtesy of Security Water and Sanitation District