The Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) in collaboration with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) is responding to a positive test result for perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) in a water sample from a well that serves the Pease Tradeport and the NH Air National Guard Base at Pease. Because the level exceeds the "provisional health advisory" set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the well was immediately shut down by the City of Portsmouth. PFOS is one of a family of chemicals called PFCs for perfluorochemicals. PFCs have been used for decades in many commercial products, such as stain-resistant carpeting, fire-fighting foam, nonstick cookware, fabric coatings, and some food packaging. As a result, they are found throughout the environment. They are also very persistent, and do not break down readily in the environment, or in our bodies. Consequently, PFCs can be detected in the blood stream of most people.
The other two wells at Pease did not contain PFCs above the provisional health advisory level. The water supply for the City of Portsmouth was checked as well out of an abundance of caution and the levels were within the health advisory level.
If you have any questions, please contact the DHHS Emergency Services Unit at (603) 271-9461.
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