Read the full article by Zoë Read (WHYY News)

“People who live near the New Castle Air National Guard Base in Delaware have levels of PFAS in their blood above the national average, according to a report published Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The results are part of a 2019 CDC and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry study evaluating exposure to PFAS near the base. In 2014, the drinking water supply in the area was found to contain PFAS levels above Environmental Protection Agency standards.

The contamination is related to the historic use of aqueous film-forming foam during firefighter training on the base. The foam entered the groundwater and flowed to other locations and affected nearby municipal wells.

In 2014, the water systems that serve the area near New Castle Air National Guard Base worked to reduce PFAS levels to EPA standards. However, the chemicals can remain in the body for years.

‘PFAS have long half-lives in the human body. Therefore, even though drinking water exposures were reduced 3 to 5 years before the collection of EA [exposure assessment] blood samples, past drinking water exposures were a likely contributing factor to the EA participants’ elevated blood PFAS levels,’ a summary of the CDC/ATSDR report reads.

The study tested the blood and urine of 214 residents who drank water provided by the Municipal Services Commission of the City of New Castle for at least one year before Aug. 5, 2014, or by Artesian Water Co. at least one year before July 18, 2016.”…