Pennsylvania allocates $ 1.6 million for PFAS cancer study conducted by Temple

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Temple University study on possible links between PFAS contamination and cancer gets $ 1.6 million from Pennsylvania taxpayers.

The state adopted a $ 40 billion expenditure budget that included funds requested in January by Representative Todd Stephens, R-151, of Horsham; Meghan Schroeder, R-29, of Buckingham; and Todd Polinchock, R-144, of Warrington.

The state study conducted by the Temple’s School of Public Health complements a multi-state health study administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Federal Toxics and Disease Registry Agency currently underway.

The national study includes testing of 1,300 residents of Horsham, Warrington and Warminster exposed to chemicals used in fire-fighting foams for decades at old and active military bases nearby.

A map of current levels of PFAS contamination of private and public drinking water wells prepared by researchers as part of the National Multi-Site Health Study of the long-term effects of the suspected carcinogen in drinking water.

Researchers began recruiting local residents to begin testing in this study earlier this year, with the results due to be released after the full study ends in 2024.

The Environmental Protection Agency set a lifetime health advisory level for unregulated chemicals in drinking water at 70 parts per trillion in 2016.

Some public drinking water wells in the three townships have been tested several hundred times above the 70 ppt benchmark, causing the drinking water supply to be shut down for thousands of people.

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Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances have been used in many commercial and industrial products since the 1940s.

Polinchock said in a joint press release from the three officials that the federal government had excluded links to cancer from the national study.

“Fortunately, Dr Resa M. Jones, of (Temple), agreed to complete the missing cancer component of the health study and work with the PA DOH,” Polinchock said this week.

The three officials echoed previous references to a preliminary state study that indicated a link between cancer and exposure to PFAS, a link according to Schroeder that needed to be explored for affected residents.

“Communities across the Commonwealth want greater certainty about the impact of this insidious chemical on their health,” Schroeder said.


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