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DHHS Announces Public Meetings to Present Results of Targeted Arsenic and Uranium Public Health Study
Public Meetings in Dover, Newfields, Concord
Contact:
Public Information Office
(603) 271-9290

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Division of Public Health Services
Publish Date:
April 9, 2019

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Division of Public Health Services has announced three public meetings to present the results of the NH Biomonitoring Program’s Targeted Arsenic and Uranium Public Health Study.

The study was conducted to determine if there are unsafe levels of arsenic and uranium in the well water of NH residents and if those metals are getting into people’s bodies. Arsenic and uranium occur naturally in the granite that lies deep beneath NH soils. Approximately 46% of NH residents rely on private wells for their home water source and many of these wells are drilled deep into the granite bedrock in order to access the groundwater. Metals like arsenic and uranium can exit the bedrock and enter the groundwater, potentially creating unsafe levels in drinking water. These unsafe levels can cause health effects such as cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory disease, and affect brain development and kidney function.

During the public meetings, officials from the NH Biomonitoring program will present the study and answer attendees’ questions regarding the findings, the importance of well water testing, and possible health implications from unsafe contaminant levels. The meetings are open to the public and are scheduled for the following dates and locations

  • Dover – Monday, April 15
    Dover Library Lecture Hall, 73 Locust Street, Dover, NH 03820
    10:00 am
    park at the public parking garage
  • Newfields – Wednesday, April 17
    Newfields Town Hall, 65 Main Street, Newfields, NH 03856
    6:00 pm
  • Concord – Tuesday, April 23
    NH DHHS Auditorium, 29 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301
    6:00 pm

In 2014, the NH DHHS Public Health Laboratories (PHL) received a five year, cooperative agreement from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to increase the NH PHL’s capacity and capability to conduct biomonitoring science in NH. Biomonitoring is the study of chemicals in people by testing for chemicals or their breakdown products in humans (examples include testing blood, urine, or tissue). Biomonitoring provides important information on whether chemicals are getting into a person’s body so they can take action to reduce their exposure to them. The cooperative agreement has funded two biomonitoring projects: this Targeted Arsenic and Uranium Public Health Study and the 2019 NH Tracking and Assessment of Chemical Exposures (TrACE) Study. For more information on the BiomonitoringNH Program, visit www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/lab/biomonitoring.htm.

If accommodations are needed for communication access such as interpreters, CART (captioning), assistive listening devices, or other auxiliary aids and/or services, please contact Kelly Bogert at Kelly.Bogert@dhhs.nh.gov or (603) 271-4612. At least 5 business days’ advance notice is requested in order to assure availability; requests made fewer than 5 days prior to the event will attempt to be accommodated but cannot be guaranteed.

 
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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
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