“Participants are being sought for a first-of-its-kind study in the Pikes Peak region examining the health effects of toxic chemicals in the Widefield aquifer.

Two-hundred Security, Widefield and Fountain residents are being recruited for the study, which aims to determine if there’s any correlation between the area’s tainted drinking water and the health ailments reported by residents.

That includes trying to determine how long people were exposed to the toxic chemicals, called perfluorinated compounds, as well as how that might have affected their health.

‘We hope to provide people with a little more insight on what their body burden is, and what their blood levels are, and what they might be able to do about it long term,’ said John Adgate, the Colorado School of Public Health professor leading the effort…

Adgate’s $275,000 study is being funded by the federal National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences, and it will be overseen by a team of researchers from the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and the Colorado School of Mines.

Already, 40 to 50 people have volunteered. And this week, Adgate and his team of six other researchers created a website for the study – www.pfas-aware.org – to get several hundred more volunteers, in case some participants back out before testing begins.

The study will take one blood sample later this spring from each participant, and each person will be given a questionnaire about their water use and health ailments.

Fifty of those people will be asked to submit a second blood sample in spring 2019, to help determine how quickly the chemicals get flushed from their bodies.

Specifically, the study will focus on how perfluorinated compounds affect three areas: liver function, cholesterol and immune response.

It also aims to determine how water use in the area correlates to how quickly the body accumulates and rids itself of the compounds.

Participants will receive copies of their test results.

Adgate said he wants a broad cross-section of the community, including people who used municipal water systems, as well as private wells. While no deadline exists to sign up, Adgate said he wants to begin testing by late May.”

Read the full article by Jakob Rodgers.