PFAS Update: Blood Tests Show Elevated Levels of Contaminants in Philadelphia-Area Residents; Newburgh Residents Urge DOD Officials to Accelerate Federal Response

PFAS Update: Blood Tests Show Elevated Levels of Contaminants in Philadelphia-Area Residents; Newburgh Residents Urge DOD Officials to Accelerate Federal Response

Blood testing of a sample of residents living outside of Philadelphia revealed a significantly higher presence of PFAS chemicals linked to historical use of firefighting foam at two closed bases — Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove and Naval Air Warfare Center Warminster — than the general population. The state Department of Health randomly selected 235 residents in Horsham, Warminster and Warrington Township for testing, reported the Inquirer. Local residents had more than double the national average for levels of PFOS in their blood, and more than 1.5 times the national average for levels of PFOA. The average for one type of PFAS chemical, PFHxS, in the Philadelphia-area residents sampled was more than five times the national average. … Residents of Newburgh, N.Y., urged the military to take concrete action to halt discharges of contaminated wastewater from Stewart Air National Guard Base, during a public meeting with DOD and Air Force officials held earlier this month. The city shut down its primary water supply after PFAS contamination was discovered. The military has been following the federally prescribed cleanup process but faces spending restrictions because Stewart is not an active-duty base and is located on state-owned land, said Robert McMahon, assistant secretary of defense for sustainment. He and John Henderson, assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and energy, said the federal government is committed to cleaning up the contamination, reported the Times Herald-Record. “We’re in this for the long haul,” McMahon said.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force

Dan Cohen
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