“Residents of the Top End town of Katherine affected by the use of a potentially toxic firefighting foam at RAAF Base Tindal, will undergo blood testing this week.
It follows the release of an interim human health risk assessment by the Department of Defencelate last year, which warned against eating local seafood and other home-grown produce.
Most of the town is in the investigation area, and it is feared the chemicals, an ingredient in firefighting foam once used at the nearby Tindal RAAF Base, have seeped into Katherine’s bores used for drinking water and irrigation.
In December, the Federal Government announced a $5.7 million community support package for people affected by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination, including blood tests.
NT Chief Medical Officer Brennan Murphy said the voluntary blood testing program, initiated in communities near RAAF Base Williamtown in NSW and the Army Aviation Centre Oakey in Queensland, had been expanded.
‘I think it’s important to note that the blood tests don’t indicate any harm to people’s health,’ Dr Murphy said.
‘But because these chemicals accumulate and persist in the environment, obviously there’s a precautionary approach being taken.’
The Federal Government will fund a single PFAS blood test for those people who live or work, or have lived or worked, in the RAAF Base Tindal Investigation Area.
The blood tests will be available from March 17 until April 30, 2019.”
Read the full article at ABC News AU