Skip to content

Shaheen Calls for Accountability Following Reports that Trump Administration is Concealing a Report on the Health Impacts of PFAS Chemicals to Avoid “Public Relations Nightmare”

**SHAHEEN: “The real nightmare is not knowing how exposure to PFAS chemicals have impacted the health of your children – a reality for many Seacoast parents.”**

(Washington, DC)-- Senator Jeanne Shaheen issued the following statement after a news report revealed that a federal study on the health impacts of PFAS chemicals has been withheld from the public by the Trump administration due to fears of a “public relations nightmare.”    

“The real nightmare is not knowing how exposure to PFAS chemicals have impacted the health of your children – a reality for many Seacoast parents. The Trump administration must release this report immediately and hold accountable all who were involved in hiding it from the public,” said Shaheen. “This is an egregious example of politics interfering with the public’s right to know. New Hampshire families have been waiting for years for information that will shed light on the health impacts of exposure to PFAS chemicals and it’s unconscionable that even the existence of this study has been withheld until now. This study could complement the forthcoming study that will look into exposure at Pease and inform preliminary actions that Seacoast residents and officials should take to protect themselves and their community.”       

Last week, Shaheen announced that the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) will be conducting a study at Pease International Tradeport to examine the health impacts of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Pease will serve as the ATSDR’s model test site, reflecting the thorough work that has already been done to assess the threat of PFAS chemicals in the area. The study conducted at Pease will help to refine the agency’s collection methods and analyses, as well as mitigate any challenges to implementation prior to rolling out the study to multiple sites across the country. The information collected in Pease, as the model test site, will be included in the larger, multi-site health study.  Senator Shaheen has worked with federal agencies, including ATSDR, on behalf of impacted local residents to have Pease be a focus of this national study so that the specific circumstances surrounding contamination in New Hampshire can be better understood.

In addition to establishing the health impact study, Shaheen secured the necessary funding for the study in the government funding bill that was signed into law in March. Shaheen has led efforts in Congress to respond to the pervasive problem of emerging contaminants in water supplies across the country, including New Hampshire. Last month, Shaheen introduced the PFAS Registry Act with Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD), legislation that would create a national database for service members and veterans experiencing health problems possibly due to contamination from PFAS materials. Senator Shaheen has also introduced the Safe Drinking Water Assistance Act, bipartisan legislation that will help expedite the analysis of contaminants and provide resources to states dealing with the health challenges posed by these potentially harmful materials.