CDC and ATSDR will resume PFAS exposure assessment field activities in Orange County, New York

Tuesday, September 29, 2020
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Atlanta, GA –The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) will resume field activities of the PFAS exposure assessment in Orange County, New York, beginning door-to-door recruitment Tuesday, October 13, 2020. Testing individuals will take place from October 23 through November 1.

The primary goal of the exposure assessment is to provide information to communities about levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in their bodies. CDC and ATSDR invited randomly selected households to participate.

A random selection of households received invitation letters explaining the assessment and registration process. ATSDR will be calling selected households to invite them to participate, or to reschedule appointments. An ATSDR representative may also visit households if letter and phone call contact attempts are unsuccessful. ATSDR will place additional health and safety precautions to minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19 when conducting the exposure assessment.

Background: Use and spills of aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) containing PFAS occurred at the Stewart Air National Guard base during firefighting training and emergency responses. The PFAS chemicals traveled into the surface water affecting the City of Newburgh’s drinking water sources.

In 2013, PFAS levels from samples taken at the City’s primary drinking water source, Washington Lake, were higher than the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) current health advisory level, but lower than the provisional health advisory at the time. The EPA lowered their health advisory in May 2016. The City of Newburgh removed Washington Lake from service and began using its backup water supply (Brown’s Pond) in May 2016, prior to the EPA’s lowering of the health advisory. In June 2016, the drinking water system was connected to the New York City Catskill Aqueduct. Based on information available to ATSDR, the City of Newburgh drinking water supply currently meets federal and state PFAS guidelines.

For more information about CDC and ATSDR exposure assessments, please visit For information about PFAS, visit Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) and Your Health or call 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636) or email


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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Related News Releases For Orange County, Newburgh, New York

Release Date:  Wednesday, June 29, 2022
Atlanta, GA – Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) released the report for the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) exposure assessment conducted in Orange County, New York, near Stewart Air National Guard Base.

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Page last reviewed: September 29, 2020