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12/12/2018

Department of Health to Host Public Meeting to Discuss PFAS Blood Test Results with Residents in Warrington, Warminster and Horsham

Upper Dublin, PA – The Department of Health will host a public meeting, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM, Wednesday, December 19, Upper Dublin High School Auditorium (Performing Arts Center), 800 Loch Alsh Ave., Fort Washington, to discuss the final report of the PFAS Exposure Assessment Technical Tools (PEATT) Pilot Project and answer questions about the study.

Dr. Sharon Watkins, state epidemiologist with the Department of Health, and Dr. Christopher Reh, associate director of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), will present the findings of the project to residents in the Warrington, Warminster and Horsham areas.

The purpose of the pilot study, funded by the federal government, was to evaluate the steps in the PEATT and provide feedback to ATSDR. In addition, the results will help determine the prevalence of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in residents living in communities exposed to these toxic substances in their drinking water. Over the course of the past year, the department has conducted blood level testing for members of randomly chosen households in the Warrington, Warminster and Horsham areas. These individuals have agreed to the testing and visited a clinic to have a blood sample drawn.

PFAS substances were commonly used in applications that include surface coating of paper and cardboard packaging products, carpets, non-stick pans, and textiles, as well as firefighting foams. These substances have been detected in air, water, and soil in and around production/ manufacturing facilities, and airports and military bases that used firefighting foams. Companies began phasing out the production and use of several PFAS substances in the early 2000s, and two of the most well studied—perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)—are no longer manufactured or imported into the United States.

Governor Tom Wolf formed a PFAS Action Team in September of 2018 to address PFAS contaminants across the commonwealth and protect Pennsylvania residents. The Department of Environmental Protection is accepting comments from the public regarding PFAS at https://www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/eComment/.

For more information on PFAS or the PEATT Pilot Project, visit www.health.pa.gov or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

MEDIA CONTACT: Nate Wardle, 717-787-1783 or ra-dhpressoffice@pa.gov

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