Read the full article by Chris Van Buskirk (WBUR)
“Offering blood testing for people in areas exposed to PFAS, additional funds for statewide research, education, and surveillance, and passing laws restricting the use of certain firefighting foam and food packaging were all part of a set of recommendations a top academic expert offered this week to a state task force investigating the impact of the chemicals in Massachusetts.
The advice, offered by Northeastern University Social Science Director Environmental Health Research Institute Director Dr. Phil Brown, comes as state legislators and stakeholders take a deep dive into the effect of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, on public health and the environment.
During a Tuesday morning hearing, members of the PFAS Interagency Task Force — co-chaired by Sen. Julian Cyr and Rep. Kate Hogan — focused on water and ground contamination ahead of issuing a report by Dec. 31.
‘Legislatures and health environmental agencies should be testing water in locations with likely contamination,’ Brown said. ‘They should offer blood testing to people in exposed areas and proactively target testing, both for water and blood, in low-income and BIPOC communities, and they should in fact prioritize the EJ communities for remediation.’
PFAS is a group of chemicals that have been used since the 1950s to create stain- and water-resistant and non-stick products, according to the state. While they are more commonly used in consumer products like food packaging, outdoor clothing, and leather goods, the chemicals also appear in certain types of firefighting foam that can then seep into groundwater…”