Westhampton residents await answers amid water contamination

Five of them are above the EPA’s advisory level.
Five of them are above the EPA’s advisory level.
Dr. Tomarken and other officials said at the time they believed the chemicals came from the 106th Air Rescue Wing of the Air National Guard based at Gabreski Airport.
They urged the Air Force to fix the problem.
In a statement to News 12, the state Department of Health says, "The Water Quality Rapid Response Team…identified PFOS (Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid) contamination in some private wells in the Westhampton Beach area near the Gabreski Airforce base.
In addition, the DOH says it is working to identify a local laboratory that will administer the testing and should have one picked out soon.
Environmental advocates say they would like to see the contamination cleaned up as soon as possible.
"[PFOS] has been directly linked to such cancers as kidney cancer…but has also been linked to thyroid problems, hormone disruption," says Adrienne Esposito, of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment.
"It’s a serious chemical, it’s very persistent, which means it doesn’t break down in the environment or in our body, and it builds up."
Residents with private water wells were encouraged at the time of the discovery to switch to the public water system.

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