February 28, 2017
Concord, NH – Beginning February 28, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Biomonitoring Program will extend participant recruitment for the Targeted Arsenic and Uranium Public Health Study to the towns of Deerfield, Epsom, Goffstown, New Boston, and Weare.
The purpose of the Targeted Arsenic and Uranium Public Health Study is to examine the relationship between private well water quality and the health impacts of ingesting arsenic and uranium. Randomly selected households on private well water will receive a recruitment postcard in the mail. The postcard will provide instructions on how to contact study staff if they are interested in participating.
Participants will have a short in-person meeting with study staff to complete a questionnaire and learn how to collect their samples. Water and urine will be tested by the DHHS Public Health Laboratories. Participants will receive their water results as soon as they are available and will receive their urine results at the end of the study so they can compare their personal results with others in the study and with those from a representative sample of the U.S. population. As an incentive for their assistance, participants will be offered a free well water testing package.
"Provisions under the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Safe Drinking Water Act ensure that arsenic and uranium are at safe levels in public drinking water; however, private wells are not held to these standards," said Amanda Cosser, Biomonitoring Program Manager and Study Coordinator at DHHS. "In fact, there are no requirements for residents to test their private well water. With approximately 40% of New Hampshire's population obtaining their drinking water from private wells, the DHHS Biomonitoring Program is interested in learning more about private well water quality in our state and how it relates to health so we can make recommendations to protect New Hampshire's residents."
Previous research by the United States Geological Survey and the DHHS Public Health Laboratories has identified groundwater in southern and southeastern New Hampshire as being at increased risk for containing arsenic above the maximum contaminant level established by the EPA as well as having elevated uranium. Financial and technical assistance for this project is being provided through cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Laboratory Sciences at the National Center for Environmental Health RFA EH14140202. The contents of these pages do not necessary represent the official views of the CDC.
For more information about the DHHS Biomonitoring Program please visit http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/lab/biomonitoring.htm. Questions about the Targeted Arsenic and Uranium Public Health Study can be directed to study staff at 603-271-4611 or BiomonitoringNH@dhhs.nh.gov.