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“PORTSMOUTH — The federal agency conducting the health study for people exposed to dangerous PFAS chemicals at the former Pease Air Force Base has paused its work.

The Agency For Toxic Substances And Disease Registry (ATSDR) paused the study because of concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Andrea Amico, a Portsmouth mother and advocate who played a key role in getting the health study started, called the move “a very responsible decision.”

‘They have paused the study, but they have not canceled it, the plan is to restart recruitment as soon as it is safe to do so,’ Amico, one of the three co-founders of Testing For Pease, said Monday. ‘I appreciate them putting public health first, but I am disappointed that we do have to pause it.’

Advocates received the news about the ATSDR’s decision on Friday, Amico said.

‘I’m disappointed because I want the study to move forward and to be able to actively recruit people, but it’s the most responsible decision to make in terms of protecting public health,’ Amico said.

The ATSDR has not said when they plan to restart the study, Amico said.

‘We’re all trying to think about the future and planning, but there’s so many unknowns right now,’ she said.

Thousands of people working at Pease International Tradeport, along with children and infants who attended two day cares there, were exposed to multiple PFAS chemicals from contaminated water in the city-owned Haven well until its closure in 2014…”