Pennsylvania health official provided more details on a chemical blood testing study conducted last year near military bases in Bucks and Montgomery counties.
Long-term residents, men, and those living closest to military bases in Bucks and Montgomery counties have the highest levels of firefighting chemicals in their blood, according to a presentation given by Pennsylvania Department of Health officials at the Horsham Township Library on Monday night (April 29. 2019).
The presentation offered the latest details on a blood testing program the department conducted last year. The test enlisted 235 residents of Horsham, Warrington, and Warminster to have their blood drawn. While the department previously made public that residents of all three towns had elevated levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in their blood, officials Monday presented more complex analysis.
Sharon Watkins, director of the Bureau of Epidemiology, said scientists found that in addition to higher levels of PFAS being found in those groups, those who used private wells as opposed to public water supplies, those who drank more tap water, and those with a higher body mass index had elevated PFAS levels. But after putting the data for statistical rigors, some stuck out more than others.
“When we did that, one of the primary findings was that the average serum levels ... were positively associated with drinking water source and total length of residence in the study area,” Watkins said. “If you lived in the area more than 10 years, you generally had higher levels of PFAS.”
See the data here. On the agenda of the May 8, 2019, Board of Supervisors public meeting: Dan Angove, General Manager of the Artesian Water Company, is expected to present the latest Q1 2019 test results for PFAS in Newtown's water sources.
It is hoped that he will compare the results to the Q4 2018 results focusing on (1) how sampling is done. (2) When was sampling done? (3) Were multiple samples collected & combined for the test? (4) What company did the testing? (5) How accurate is the test?/What's the margin of error? The meeting, which starts at 7 PM, will be held at 100 Municipal Drive, Newtown.