Feasibility assessment for epidemiological studies at Pease International Tradeport, Portsmouth, New Hampshire
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Feasibility assessment for epidemiological studies at Pease International Tradeport, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

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    This report describes the activities and the conclusions of ATSDR’s feasibility assessment of possible future drinking water epidemiological studies at the Pease International Tradeport, Portsmouth, New Hampshire (“Pease”). The drinking water at Pease was contaminated with perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), in particular perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS), from the use of aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) at the former Pease Air Force Base. The base used AFFF for firefighting training and to extinguish flammable liquid fires. In 2015, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS) established a PFAS blood testing program at Pease. A total of 1,578 persons submitted a blood sample for analysis. The results from the blood testing program indicated that the exposed population had higher serum levels of PFOS and PFHxS than did the U.S. population.

    In March 2016, ATSDR established a community assistance panel (CAP) as a mechanism for the community to voice its concerns and provide input on decisions concerning potential health activities at Pease. A key concern expressed by the community was the lack of information on the possible short- term and long-term health effects to children and adults exposed to the PFAS contaminants in the drinking water at Pease. Specifically, the community was concerned about cancers, elevated lipids, effects on thyroid and immune function, and developmental delays in children.


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