Read the full article by Kimberley Haas (Union Leader)

“A health study examining the effects of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances on people who were exposed to these forever chemicals in Portsmouth and the surrounding areas has resumed after a seven-month hiatus due to COVID-19.

Thousands of people who worked or attended school at Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth from January of 2004 to May of 2014, or who lived in Newington and relied on a private well anytime from January of 2004 to the present are eligible for the study.

So far, only 30% of the adults and 13% of the children needed to complete the study have participated.

Christopher Reh, associate director of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, said on Thursday that anyone who feels as if they may have been exposed to PFAS should reach out to the Pease study call center.

Reh said that since PFAS can affect the immune system, they also plan to examine how that might change somebody’s outcome if they become sick with the coronavirus.

‘COVID impacts the immune system. We know PFAS may impact the immune system. What’s the effect of them combined? We do not know yet. We’re in the process of thinking about studies that can help inform that,’ Reh said.

Some studies have shown that PFAS exposure may increase the risk of cancer, increase cholesterol levels, interfere with the body’s natural hormones, lower a woman’s chance of becoming pregnant and affect the learning of children…”