March 24, 2015
Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES), and the City of Portsmouth will be holding a second meeting for the public to discuss and answer questions about continued water testing and the State’s plan to do human testing for the perfluorochemicals (PFCs) perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). The unregulated contaminant PFOS was detected in the water system at the Pease Tradeport in May 2014 at a level that exceeded the “provisional health advisory” set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The affected well was immediately shut down by the City of Portsmouth and has remained offline since.
DHHS is rolling out a testing program for people who wish to have their blood tested and who consumed the contaminated water. The test will give people the levels of PFOS and PFOA in their blood.
The meeting will be held Tuesday, March 31st at 6:00 pm at the NH Department of Environmental Services Regional Office, 222 International Drive, Suite 175, Portsmouth, NH, 03801.
"We are responding to a request for human testing made by the public at the previous public meeting" said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS. "Unfortunately, no one knows what a typical level is for PFOS or PFOA or if there is a blood level at which there is a health concern. Most people in the United States have some level of these chemicals in their blood because PFCs are so pervasive in our environment. We hope this testing will offer reassurance to people who are understandably concerned about this situation. Anyone with questions about this program or other issues related to the contaminant found in the water system is invited to attend this informational session."
For more information about the Pease Superfund site and water monitoring visit the NH DES website at http://des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/waste/hwrb/fss/superfund/summaries/documents/pease.pdf . To learn more about the water system at the Pease Tradeport, visit the City of Portsmouth website at http://www.cityofportsmouth.com/publicworks/phwn.html. To read more about the investigation and the blood testing program, visit the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services at http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/investigation-pease.htm. To find out about the Pease testing program, please call the DHHS Emergency Services Unit at 603-271-9461.
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