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Federal health study into PFAS impact resumes

The first in the nation study at the Pease Tradeport was put on hold when COVID-19 hit.

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — After being put on hold for months because of the coronavirus pandemic, a federal health study into the potential health impacts from exposure to industrial chemicals has resumed.

The first in the nation study was underway at the Pease Tradeport in Portsmouth, New Hampshire when COVID hit. Federal health experts are recruiting 1,000 adults and 350 children who drank water contaminated with PFAS chemicals at the former Air Force Base. 

About 200 adults and children were not exposed are also needed to participate.

The class of chemicals found in household products to firefighting foam have been linked to a number of health problems including immune system dysfunction and organ cancers. Federal officials hope to determine if there is a connection between the exposure to the chemicals and certain health issues.

People who want to take part can call and schedule blood and and health screenings. Children will also undergo neurobehavioral assessments. Parents say the opportunity to find answers may never happen again.

"We worked so hard to get this study here for our community. This is how we are going to learn from our exposure," Andrea Amico said. Her husband and two children drank the contaminated water.

Federal health officials say the study is not a walk-in clinic and participants must call ahead to set up their screenings. 

To enroll in the Pease Study, call (603) 846-6192.

For information about the Pease Study, Call center, screenings and testing, click here.