Initiation of Two PFAS Exposure Assessments

Jul 18, 2019 | Michelle Shapiro

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) recently announced the initiation of two exposure assessments, one near the Barnes Air National Guard Base site in Westfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts and one near the Shepherd Field Air National Guard Base in the City of Martinsburg, Berkeley County, West Virginia.

The purpose of the exposure assessments is to provide information to the community members about the levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in their bodies and provide information about exposures in the broader community.

More information about the information session on July 23, 2019 for the Barnes Air National Guard Base site in Westfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts can be found on CDC/ATSDR’s press release.

And for more information about the information session on July 24, 2019 for the site near the Shepherd Field Air National Guard Base in the City of Martinsburg, Berkeley County, West Virginia can be found on CDC/ATSDR’s press release.

BACKGROUND
PFAS are man-made chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products since the 1950s. There are nearly 5,000 types of PFAS, some of which have been more widely used and studied than others. Scientists are still learning about the health effects of exposure to PFAS. Some studies have shown that exposure to certain PFAS may affect growth, learning, and behavior of infants and older children; lower a woman’s chance of getting pregnant; interfere with the body’s natural hormones; increase cholesterol levels; affect the immune system; and increase the risk of cancer.

The primary goal of the exposure assessment is to provide information about levels of PFAS in their bodies to the community members served by the City of Westfield public drinking water supply system located north of the Westfield River. The results of these exposure assessments will help individual participants and their communities better understand their exposure to PFAS and provide information that the communities can use to reduce PFAS exposure.

For more information about the PFAS Exposure Assessment, visit:
https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfas/PFAS-Exposure-Assessments.html.

For more information about PFAS and available resources, visit: https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfas/index.html or call 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636).


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About Michelle Shapiro

Michelle Shapiro is a communication specialist for the Environmental Health & Disability team at NACCHO.

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