Today, we are here with Ophra Wolf of the Newburgh Clean Water Project, who will host a Q & A online via ZOOM this Wednesday June 24th 6-7pm including Drs. Erin Bell and Michael Bloom of the SUNY Albany School of Public Health. On Weds Drs. Bell and Bloom will answer your questions about the health effects of PFAS chemical contamination in drinking water. The public can register for Wednesday’s online Q&A about PFAS health effects at newburghcleanwaterproject.org. Click the image at the top left for “Water Session” and scroll down to “register here”.
This report is by Jared Wesley Singer of WOOC 105.3FM at the Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy, NY–for the Water Justice Laboratory.
In 1990 there was an accidental spill of 4,000 gallons of fire-fighting foam at Stewart Air Base. In 1996, the firefighting foam was used to extinguish a crash at Stewart International Airport. Until 2017, the foam was used for firefighting practice drills and they continue to use similar chemical substitutes.
Our understanding of PFAS toxicity is evolving: In 2009 EPA sets a health advisory limit of 200 parts-per-trillion (ppt) for PFAS chemicals in drinking water, revised down to 70 ppt in 2016. In late 2018 the New York State Drinking Water Quality Council (NYSDWQC) recommended a lower standard of 10 ppt for PFAS chemicals. New research by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) suggests toxic effects at even lower concentrations of 1 to 0.1 ppt! Meanwhile the City of Newburgh’s 2016 Water Quality Report noted PFOS levels of 150-170 ppt in Lake Washington. Since that time New York State has switched the City of Newburgh to a temporary, uncontaminated water supply.