Health study planned after firefighting foam tainted water
DENVER (AP) — Researchers said Thursday they will study contamination levels in the blood of about 200 Colorado residents whose drinking water was tainted by firefighting foam from an Air Force base.
The University of Colorado and the Colorado School of Mines said the two-year study aims to determine how much of the chemicals residents absorbed, how quickly their bodies are shedding the contaminants and what the current levels are in the water.
The chemicals are called perfluorinated compounds or PFCs.
They have been linked to prostate, kidney and testicular cancer, along with other illnesses.
The Air Force announced in 2016 it would switch to some another type of foam believed to be safer.
PFCs were found in well water in three utility systems serving about 69,000 people in the city of Fountain and an unincorporated community called Security-Widefield south of Colorado Springs.
Levels exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended limits.
The Air Force determined the chemicals came from firefighting foam used at nearby Peterson Air Force Base.
“There are no strong studies on the long-term health effects of these compounds,” Adgate said.
The Colorado study is funded by an initial grant of about $247,000 from the National Institutes of Health.