PORTSMOUTH — The state Department of Health and Human Services will hold its aggregate pediatric meeting on the blood test results from children exposed to contaminated city water on Sept. 9.
The meeting will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at the DES conference room at the Pease International Airport, according to Richard DiPentima, chairman of the city’s Community Advisory Board on the Haven well contamination.
The address for DES on the tradeport is 222 International Drive, Suite 175, Meeting Room A.
The Air Force will be meeting with the public and the CAB at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in City Council chambers at City Hall to talk about their plan to treat the contaminated water at the former Air Force Base, which is now a Superfund clean-up site.
The city closed the Haven well at Pease International Tradeport in May 2014 after the Air Force tested the well and found levels of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) 12.5 times higher than the EPA’s Provisional Health Advisory (PHA).
The EPA classified PFOS and perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, which was also found in the Haven well but below the health advisory levels, as “contaminants of emerging concern” because of their potential harm to people. PFOS and PFOA are a class of chemicals known as PFCs, or perfluorochemicals.
State Epidemiologist Benjamin Chan reported recently that the average of the first 98 adult blood tests for people exposed to PFOS, PFOA and perfluorohexane sulfonic acid or PFHxS, were all higher than the national average. Chan said PFC exposure can potentially cause “immune system effects, hormone dysfunction, certain types of cancer (kidney, testicle, thyroid), etc.”
The EPA believes the PFCs that contaminated the Haven well came from firefighting foam that was used on the base.
The Sept. 9 meeting will be the first time state officials have addressed the aggregate results of kids 11 and younger in public.
DHHS is also conducting a second round of blood tests through mid-October.
People can sign up for themselves or their kids by calling DHHS’ public inquiry line at 271-9461.
DHHS received 466 blood samples during the first testing session, after predicting only 100 people would be interested in the tests.