Study of long-term PFOS health problems authorized

Newly signed federal legislation empowers the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine the likelihood that those exposed to high levels of PFOS and related chemicals like PFOA will come down with any of the health problems associated with the chemicals.
[TIMES HERALD-RECORD FILE PHOTO] CITY OF NEWBURGH – Each spring Cynthia Mack would fill her outdoor pond with water and return to it the five Koi who had wintered in a fish tank inside her City of Newburgh home.
Up until spring 2017, that water came from Washington Lake, Newburgh’s contaminated primary water supply that was shuttered in May 2016.
“It plants a little seed of wonder, like what’s the extent of things,” she said.
Mack is one of thousands of residents from Newburgh and the city’s surrounding towns who have been tested for perfluorooctane sulfonate, or PFOS, the toxic chemical whose levels in Washington Lake have spawned a health scare and an environmental crisis extending into the towns of New Windsor and Newburgh.
The tests have confirmed what most suspected – that Mack and many other residents who drank and cooked with the contaminated water have PFOS levels in their system far exceeding the national average.
In addition, the state Department of Health is studying cancer data for Newburgh.
Kidney and testicular cancer are two of the health problems associated with the chemicals.
“We need to know what the safe level, if any is, of PFOA’s and PFOS’s in human blood.” On Dec. 12, President Donald Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act.
His well tested negative for the chemicals, but Horner still wanted to have his blood checked.

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