State officials recently announced a new online survey that will allow City of Newburgh and area residents who drank water tainted by the toxic chemical that shut down the city’s main water supply to report any health conditions that may be tied to the exposure.
A number of health problems have been associated with perfluorooctane sulfonate, or PFOS, a chemical used in foams made to extinguish aircraft fires and in stain- and water-resistant consumer products.
It has been linked with kidney and testicular cancers, ulcerative colitis, high cholesterol and low infant birth weight. Last fall, in response to high levels in Newburgh’s Washington Lake, the state began testing residents of the city and surrounding towns.
Newburgh stopped drawing water from the lake in May 2016 and has been supplying households with drinking and cooking water from New York City’s Catskill Aqueduct.
The survey can be completed online at http://on.ny.gov/2gnb4sY or residents can call the state Department of Health at 518-402-7950 to request a paper version. Anyone with questions can also call BEOE@health.ny.gov.
New York has also joined with five other states in asking the Centers for Disease Control to conduct a study of the health effects in Newburgh and other communities whose water has been contaminated by PFOS and related chemicals.