Florida community raises alarm about potential cancer link to water contamination
Prieto said that she knew of six or seven classmates from Satellite High School in Satellite Beach, Florida, who were also diagnosed with uncommon cancers when she was diagnosed but that she now knows of about 20 — all at about the same time.
The article reported that wells used to monitor groundwater contaminants at nearby Patrick Air Force Base showed levels of chemicals from military firefighting foam higher than what the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considered safe.
Prieto is demanding the state find out if the test results and cancer rates among her and her former classmates are connected.
The EPA’s recommended limit for PFOS and PFOA is specific to drinking water, but the tests at Patrick Air Force Base involved groundwater at the base.
A spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection told ABC News that drinking water systems in Brevard County, which includes Satellite Beach, tested negative for PFOS and PFOA.
The science on connections between PFOS and PFOA exposure and cancer and other health problems is also not definitive.
Some research has linked the chemicals to cancer in animals, including a recent government study that found they caused health problems in animals at exposure levels much lower than the EPA’s recommended limit.
Greenwalt said she’s become the face of residents’ concerns that there is a connection between PFAS and cancer, and that since the Military Times article, people have called her at her clinic saying they want to get their own water or blood tested.
And even though PFOS and PFOA chemicals haven’t been used in manufacturing in years, they have been found in groundwater and drinking water systems around the country.
In Satellite Beach, Prieto and Greenwalt are speaking to more than 1,400 residents and past residents about their concerns that groundwater contamination is somehow related to their cancers or cancer in their family.