Read the full article by Chris Ullery (Bucks County Courier Times)
“The panel, moderated by Sen. Maria Collett, D-12, of Lower Gwynedd, focused on the suspected health and environmental impacts of the unregulated chemicals sometimes referred to as ‘forever chemicals’.
Joanne Stanton wished she knew then what she knows now.
‘I know I was very naive as a young mother,’ Joanne Stanton, of Warminster, said Tuesday night to an auditorium of college students.
Stanton was part of a five-member panel at Delaware Valley University in Doylestown Township discussing water contamination linked to firefighting foams at military bases near Warminster, Warrington and Horsham.
‘I thought, if a product is on the shelves, it’s been tested,’ added Stanton, whose son, Patrick, developed a brain tumor at the age of six.
The panel, moderated by Sen. Maria Collett, D-12, of Lower Gwynedd, focused on the suspected health and environmental impacts of the unregulated chemicals sometimes referred to as ‘forever chemicals.’
PFAS was first discovered in the 1930s, and was included in the manufacturing of many products for industrial, commercial and retail use in the 1940s.
There are about 3,000 different kinds of PFAS chemicals, typically defined by the length of the carbon atoms linking the chemicals together — known as a carbon chain.
The longer the carbon chain, the longer the chemicals can remain in water or in a person’s bloodstream.
Years of health concerns raised eventually led to the phase out PFAS chemicals in manufacturing around the turn of the century.
The EPA added PFAS to its Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule first in 2013, and the agency set a lifetime health advisory limit in 2016 for PFAS at 70 parts per trillion.
‘That’s basically like one drop of food coloring in 357 2-liter bottles of Coke,’ said panelist and national reporter Kyle Bagenstose, of the USA Today Network, who has done extensive coverage of PFAS contamination as an environmental reporter for this news organization.
Public water wells near the area bases tested in the hundreds of parts per trillion, amongst the highest sites tested in the nation.
Panelist Hope Grosse, a childhood friend of Stanton, whom she would co-found the BuxMont Coalition for Safer Water with, had dealt with illnesses and cancer in her family for years.
As children, Grosse said she and her neighbors would watch the military run fire drills, sometimes three days a week. Sometimes the children climbed the fences to play in the foam afterwards.
Now the BuxMont group, which includes attorney and panel member Mark Cuker, pushes for clean water reforms at the state level with lawmakers like Collett, and at the federal level to Congress.
Tuesday’s panel was part of the university’s One Health Seminar Series, a multi-disciplinary program promoting “well-being for people and society, the environment, and plants and animals,” according to a university news release.
Bagenstose said he believed there has been progress by officials to address the water contamination in areas like the ones in Bucks County, but the environmental impacts of PFAS still seem to go largely overlooked…”