Report shows no increase in cancer cases around Merrimack contamination
The PFOA was traced back to the nearby Saint-Gobain Performance plant.
After the contamination was found, the state studied whether there was an increase in cancer rates in the area.
State epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan said more research needs to be done, but the report is good news for the people of Merrimack.
The data was compiled from the state’s cancer registry over a 10-year period ending in 2014, the last year that data is available.
The report looked at 26 different types of cancer and found that rates were not significantly different in Merrimack.
But Chan cautioned against reading too much into the report.
Chan said that while some studies have found links between PFOA and certain types of cancer, other studies have refuted those findings.
Despite the uncertain science, steps have been taken to connect homes with contaminated wells to the public water supply.
"Nobody wants to find these chemicals in their water, and so I think our Department of Environmental Services, along with the water company and community residents and town officials, are taking appropriate steps," he said.
"This is an ongoing response and situation in these communities where perfluorochemical contamination has been found, so we’re going to continue to work with town officials and community residents to address their concerns," he said.