Federal agencies to analyze health risks from PFAS in the Fairfield area

The federal government will assess the potential health hazards associated with human exposure to PFAS in the Fairfield area, signaling growing concern about the risks to residents who have unknowingly drunk contaminated water for years.

The Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Agency, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has confirmed that it will produce a “health consultation” report for central Maine and has already begun collecting available data on local pollution. and polyfluoroalkyl. substances in water, soil and food.

The group of man-made chemicals is associated with a number of harmful effects on health, but no one has yet tried to draw a line between pollution in Maine and the health of residents. Although it may be difficult to quantify the risk associated with health issues that are still being studied, the federal government’s interest in Fairfield reflects the worrying severity of pollution in the area.

Health consultation is different from research research. After the agency reviews the available local environmental data to see how much PFAS pollution there is in different samples, it will determine the level of human exposure to this pollution to assess their potential health risk. It may also recommend steps to protect public health. So far, the Fairfield area appears to have the highest PFAS pollution in Maine.

“I am very grateful and very happy that they are coming. “I’m glad we’re attracting national attention,” said Ashley Gouldrup of Fairfield. “It simply came to our notice then. It’s scary. To get us taken, you know you’re in a problem zone. ”

Gouldrup lives on How Road, where government officials have found some of the highest levels of PFAS in well water. As part of the Fairfield Water Concerned Citizens group, she first petitioned the federal agency in May 2021 to conduct the analysis.

The agency replied in a letter on March 15 that it would “conduct an in-depth assessment of the potential health effects of PFAS exposure to the environment.” After reviewing the available data on environmental samples, I will turn to determining the levels of human exposure to PFAS.

To do this, the ATSDR will need to understand some specific things about the area, such as how long PFAS pollution has been in the environment and how often people come into contact with the soil or ingest water or food, such as deer and fish, with PFAS. , announced in the e-mail communication service of ATSDR.

He will host community sessions in early fall to gather information from local people. Residents can provide information on the history of pollution or health problems in the area.

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