Online petition started for testing related to water contamination
That’s why she started an online petition asking for blood testing for residents who may have been exposed to city water that had a possible contamination of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as perfluorinated carbons (PFCs), through the city’s public water supply wells.
“The contaminated wells were taken offline but before that I drank this water for 30 years,” Mello said.
“We deserve to know what our exposure is.” Over the summer, two of the city’s eight public drinking water wells were taken offline due to both having levels of PFAS or PFCs that was above a lifetime exposure limit advisory given by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Even though some studies have found significant associations between serum perfluoroalkyl levels and adverse health effects, it does not mean that perfluoroalkyls caused these effects.
Mello believes that it is possible that exposure to the PFAS may have occurred to residents as early as the 1950s, when the online petition said the firefighting foam were first used on the airport.
“We are happy that they took the wells offline but prior to 2015 we didn’t know, so the only way to know is to get the blood testing done,” Mello said.
According to a New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS) press release, “a positive test result for perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) from a well that serves the Pease Tradeport and the New Hampshire Air National Guard base at Pease” was found, and the well in question was taken offline—similar to the situation that occurred in Westfield.
The website reported that the NH DHHS eventually “responded to the community’s request to provide blood testing for the people at Pease exposed to contaminated well water (prior to May 2014) by offering two rounds of testing in 2015.” Also according to the website, the blood tests for Pease residents came back with a higher amount of PFCs than what was found in a 2011-2012 study that was done by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
Mello said that the testing was also facilitated through the ATSDR, who she also reached out to regarding her concerns.
Foreground — White Black Red Green Blue Yellow Magenta Cyan — Opaque Semi-Opaque Background — White Black Red Green Blue Yellow Magenta Cyan — Opaque Semi-Transparent Transparent Window — White Black Red Green Blue Yellow Magenta Cyan — Opaque Semi-Transparent Transparent Font Size 50% 75% 100% 125% 150% 175% 200% 300% 400% Text Edge Style None Raised Depressed Uniform Dropshadow Font Family Default Monospace Serif Proportional Serif Monospace Sans-Serif Proportional Sans-Serif Casual Script Small Caps Defaults Done