Read the full article by Tyler Wann (Colorado Springs Indy)

“Federal public health employees held a virtual information session June 28 after a recent study found that Security-Widefield residents had elevated levels of dangerous PFAS chemicals in their blood.

PFAS are a group of widely used chemicals that have been associated with a variety of negative health effects when high levels of the chemicals are found in blood, including increased risk of kidney or testicular cancer, increased cholesterol levels, and decreased vaccine response in children, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 

The study, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the ATSDR, collected blood and urine samples from randomly selected residents. It found that participants had levels of two types of PFAS chemicals, PFHxS and PFOA, that were up to 6.8 and 1.2 times the national level, respectively. 

However, Karen Scruton, environmental health scientist with the ATSDR, says the results of the study won’t determine whether the levels of PFAS in someone’s blood or urine will make them sick now or later in life.

Security-Widefield was chosen due to its proximity to Peterson Air Force Base (now the Peterson Space Force Base), which had been using fire-suppressant foam containing the chemicals since around the 1970s, according to the study. PFAS from the foam entered the ground and contaminated nearby municipal wells which supplied potable water to the Security Water District, the western portion of the Widefield Water and Sanitation District, and the Security Mobile Home Park.

The afflicted water districts either took the contaminated wells offline and shifted to uncontaminated sources or treated their water systems, according to the study. Water for all three systems met health advisory levels by November 2016, according to Scruton, and the ATSDR doesn’t recommend residents use an alternate source of drinking water at this time.” …