Toxins From Firefighting Foams Found in Fairbanks Drinking-Water Wells
They are considered ’emerging contaminants’ because of limited data on their health impacts.
(TNS) – Manmade toxins that likely came from foams used years ago in firefighting have been found in 26 drinking-water wells near Fairbanks International Airport, according to the airport.
Of 33 tested wells serving residences and businesses, 19 had levels of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances — PFAS for short — above the health advisory level set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the airport said.
The chemicals were found in another seven wells, but in amounts below the health advisory limits.
These chemicals may hurt the ability of children to learn and grow, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
They can hurt the ability of women to get pregnant, interfere with a body’s natural hormones and affect the immune system, the CDC said.
The offer goes to those in the area "whether they have been tested yet or not," she said.
Testing through contractor Shannon & Wilson is continuing, the airport said.
Homes and businesses with PFAS levels above the EPA health advisory will be connected to the area’s water utility, she said, though that work cannot be done until after breakup.
Chemical foam isn’t used in training anymore though the airport must use it in required annual inspections to prove its firefighting system is in order, she said.