Read the full article by Julian Morel (Bailiwick Express)

“Ben Parkes lives with wife and three children at Ferndale Farm, at the top of Jubilee Hill. He has a recurring urinary tract problem which he believes is caused by him drinking water containing PFOS – a man-made chemical that was an ingredient of a now-banned firefighting foam sprayed at the Airport. Yet Ferndale Farm is not in the ‘plume area’ – a zone in St Ouen’s Bay stretching out from the western end of the runway to the sea which the Government recognises as contaminated by PFOS and should be monitored. Mr Parkes, therefore, believes the PFOS problem could be wider than officially thought. 

Mr Parkes, who is Head Grower at Jersey Hemp, said: ‘I have lived at Ferndale Farm for about 12 years. The property was always on borehole water and I was always told by my neighbours that it was cleaner than mains water. 

‘When we first moved in, we had water samples sent away for testing by the States, which came back relatively clean. There were high nitrate levels but they were actually lower than mains water. There were no chemical or bacterial problems.

‘Perhaps naively we carried on drinking the water, which we did for about ten years, until Christmas 2018, when I started to pass blood. 

‘At first, there was a lot of too-ing and fro-ing to the doctors for tests, X-rays, scans, and an endoscopy. No one could be sure what was wrong; it was inconclusive. There was evidence of urinary tract infection but they couldn’t say much more than that.’

In every other aspect, Mr Parkes was healthy: he had always worked in outdoor, physical jobs, he exercised regularly and he ate well.

‘My GP found it quite unusual for someone my age to be having a urinary infection. By this point it was flaring up every couple of months.

‘At this time, my next door neighbour had their borehole specifically tested for PFOS, which came back positive. I still had no idea what was wrong with me so I decided to learn a little more about the chemical, including watching the film Dark Waters…'”