CDC and ATSDR Release Final Report for Ten PFAS Exposure Assessment Sites

Thursday, September 22, 2022
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Atlanta, GA – Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) released the final report for the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) exposure assessments (EA) conducted in ten sites across the United States. The PFAS exposure assessments, which began in 2018, provided information to communities about the possible levels of PFAS in their bodies. The PFAS exposure assessments did not look at what types of health problems the exposure might cause.

The final report summarizes levels of PFAS in blood and urine from residents living in locations known to have had elevated levels of PFAS in their drinking water near current or former military bases and compares results to national PFAS levels. PFAS blood levels are shown by age, race/ethnicity, sex, number of years living in the community, drinking water consumption patterns, and other exposure parameters. The report also presents results from household dust and tap water samples and explores relationships between blood results and the environmental sampling data.

The exposure assessments found:

  • Average age-adjusted perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS) blood levels are higher than national levels in all ten EA communities.
  • Average age-adjusted perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) blood levels are higher than national levels in most EA communities.
  • Other PFAS blood levels were higher than national levels in some, but not all, EA communities.
  • The elevated level of PFAS may result from past drinking water contamination in the EA communities.

The report also found some demographic and lifestyle characteristics were linked with higher PFAS blood levels. All tap water samples collected during the ATSDR-led EAs were below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2016 health advisory and state public health guidelines for PFAS in drinking water.

The final report is available here: https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfas/activities/assessments/final-report.html.


Background:
The 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authorized CDC and ATSDR to look at PFAS exposure in communities near current or former military bases that are known to have PFAS in their drinking water. These EAs build upon the CDC- and ATSDR-funded PFAS Exposure Assessment Technical Tools (PEATT) pilot work done by the Pennsylvania Department of Health in Bucks and Montgomery Counties and by the New York State Department of Health in Westhampton.

The EA locations included in the report are:

  • Westhampton Beach and Quogue Area, New York (NY pilot EA)
  • Montgomery and Bucks Counties, Pennsylvania (PA pilot EA)
  • Hampden County, Massachusetts (Westfield EA)
  • Berkeley County, West Virginia (Berkeley County EA)
  • New Castle County, Delaware (New Castle County EA)
  • Spokane County, Washington (Airway Heights EA)
  • Lubbock County, Texas (Lubbock County EA)
  • Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska (Moose Creek EA)
  • El Paso County, Colorado (Security-Widefield EA)
  • Orange County, New York (Orange County EA)

The sites were selected through a rigorous process that examined the extent of the PFOA and PFOS contamination in drinking water, duration over which exposure may have occurred, and the number of potentially affected residents. These ten sites were identified with PFAS drinking water contamination from use of products such as aqueous film forming foam (AFFF).

For ongoing updates about CDC’s and ATSDR’s PFAS exposure assessments, visit https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfas/PFAS-Exposure-Assessments.html

For information about PFAS, visit https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfas/index.html, call 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636), or submit and inquiry at  www.cdc.gov/info.

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ATSDR, a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, evaluates the potential for adverse human health effects of exposure to hazardous substances in the environment.


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Page last reviewed: September 22, 2022