Read the full article by Frank Kummer (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

“Starting this fall, Pennsylvania and federal health officials hope to recruit 1,000 adults and 300 children in Bucks and Montgomery Counties for a national study on the impacts of PFAS chemicals on thyroids, cholesterol levels, kidneys, immune systems, livers, and even behavioral problems.

It’s another chance for residents of Horsham, Warminster, and Warrington Townships whose drinking water was contaminated by nearby military bases to get their blood tested.

As in a 2018 pilot test that preceded the national project, the testing won’t look for links to cancer, and at least to start, will not be focused on people who once worked at the Naval Air Warfare Center Warminster and Naval Air Station Willow Grove, where the “forever chemicals” leached off the bases from firefighting foam.

Rather, the study will seek volunteers from among the residents of the same communities, which are adjacent to the bases.

PFAS — per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances — are a class of man-made chemical compounds used in producing products such as nonstick cookware coatings, fire retardant furniture, and foam used in firefighting. PFOA, once used to make Teflon, and PFOS, once used in Scotchgard, are among the most widely known, yet there are hundreds more still being used in manufacturing.

Though the full health effects of PFAS are still being studied, known impact includes increased cancer risk, hormonal interference, infertility, increased cholesterol, and issues surrounding growth, learning, and behavior of infants and children, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Officials held a two-hour Zoom meeting Thursday night with residents about the upcoming PFAS National Multi-Site Health Studies being conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) on effects of PFAS exposure. The study includes participants from six states, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The national study presents the opportunity for more Horsham, Warrington, and Warminster residents to get their blood tested, after many had already taken part in an earlier pilot study. That 2018 study showed residents tested had elevated levels of PFAS in their blood compared with average Americans…”