“PORTSMOUTH — The dangers posed by PFAS chemicals hit home to Testing for Pease co-founders Andrea Amico, Alayna Davis and Michelle Dalton.

The women who started the community action group have been exposed to PFAS chemicals at the former Pease Air Force Base, or their children and family members have been exposed, or both.

‘We’re real people, we’re real families facing this issue and we want them to understand the personal side of things and we want them to understand what our needs are and what exactly we need from them to help us solve this problem,’ Amico said during an interview this week in advance of the Environmental Protection Agency’s first regional PFAS community engagement event.

Meetings are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday at Exeter High School and are open to the public and media.

The women continue to push for the EPA to lower the health advisory it set for just two of the thousands of man-made PFAS chemicals that exist – PFOS and PFOA – and set standards for the others…

PFAS are ‘readily absorbed following inhalation or oral exposure and are not metabolized in humans or laboratory animals,’ according to a just released toxicological profile from the Agency For Toxic Substances And Disease Registry. Several of the PFAS chemicals have long half-lives in humans, according to the draft toxicological profile. They range from eight years for PFOA, 5.4 years for PFOS and 8.5 years for PFHxS, which was found at high levels for most of the people exposed to the contaminants at Pease…

‘With the research that’s coming out, the more we know, the scarier it gets,’ Dalton said. ‘All the research to date has pointed to these chemicals being externally harmful and dangerous to our health in the long term.’

The Testing for Pease moms, as they are known throughout the community and with the state’s congressional delegation, have worked with the EPA to help set up this week’s conference.

When asked if they trust the EPA, Amico paused and then replied the group is ‘approaching the EPA with cautious optimism.’ But she thinks ‘they need to prove to us and the communities across the country that they are going to step up to the plate and take the action that is necessary to help communities’…

Amico, who recently attended the EPA’s PFAS conference in Washington, D.C., said one of the things she heard the most from state and federal regulators is ‘they cannot regulate these compounds one contaminant at a time.’

There’s been estimates that there are more than 4,000 types of PFAS chemicals.”

Read the full article by Jeff McMenemy