Shaheen PFAS Health Impact Study Moves ForwardOctober 11, 2019
**Shaheen Established the PFAS Health Impact Study in the Fiscal Year 2018 Annual Defense Bill**
**Shaheen Fought for Pease to Serve as a Model Site for Nationwide PFAS Health Impact Study**
(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) participated in a roundtable discussion on the upcoming per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) health impact study, which will be conducted in the Pease area. Shaheen established the study in the fiscal year (FY) 2018 annual defense bill. Today’s meeting was hosted by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), which is implementing the study, and other participants included members of the Pease Community Assistance Panel (CAP), local leaders, city officials and community activists. The conversation focused on how ATSDR will proceed forward with the study, including how the agency will conduct outreach to the local community for residents’ participation.
“Granite Staters and Americans in communities across the country that have been impacted by PFAS contamination are relying on the results of this study to understand their health risks, so I’m very pleased it’s moving forward as planned,” said Shaheen. “This issue crosses party and state lines, which is why there has been broad bipartisan support in Congress to prevent exposure, remediate polluted sites and get to the bottom of health implications that are associated with PFAS contamination. No American should worry about the safety of their drinking water when they turn on the tap. I appreciate the continued advocacy by our local groups and I’ll continue to be a partner in this effort to demand accountability and action to combat PFAS exposure.”
“The Pease community is very thankful to be starting our health study this Fall. We have worked tirelessly for over four years to make this health study a reality for so many people exposed to PFAS from highly contaminated drinking water at Pease,” said Andrea Amico, Co-Founder of Testing for Pease. “People need answers about what their PFAS exposure means for their health and the study will help to provide some of those answers. We are grateful to Senator Shaheen’s leadership on making this study a reality for the Pease community. And we are appreciative of ATSDR’s continued commitment and engagement in helping our community. New Hampshire will continue to lead the nation on how to address PFAS. We look forward to engaging the Pease community and spreading the word on the health study to get the participants needed to complete this study.”
Senator Shaheen has spearheaded efforts in Congress to uncover the potential health effects related to PFAS contamination and remediate polluted sites. Shaheen successfully included $10 million in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and appropriations bill that are pending approval to continue the PFAS health impact study. Over the last two years, Shaheen has consistently secured the necessary authorization and $20 million in funding to implement the study, which she established in the FY2018 NDAA. Shaheen fought for Pease International Tradeport to be included in the study, and because of her efforts, Pease will serve as a model site through this pilot study for the nationwide PFAS health study.
The Senate-passed defense bill includes a significant package of legislation, cosponsored by Shaheen, aimed at combating PFAS exposure. This PFAS package includes Shaheen’s bipartisan legislation that would expedite analysis of water contaminants like PFAS and provide support and resources to states dealing with the health challenges posed by these potentially harmful materials. Shaheen also successfully added her legislation with Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) to the defense bill that would confront occupational exposure to PFAS— the Protecting Military Firefighters from PFAS Act. Shaheen and Murkowski previously called on federal health agencies to prioritize studies on the health effects of firefighters exposed to PFAS. Additionally, Shaheen secured a provision that would ban the Department of Defense from procuring firefighting foam that contains PFAS after October 1, 2022, and would prohibit its use in the military after October 1, 2023. Just last month, Shaheen introduced new bipartisan legislation, the Guaranteeing Equipment Safety for Firefighters Act, which would take important steps to address health concerns regarding firefighters’ occupational exposure to harmful PFAS chemicals through their personal protective equipment. Shaheen recently called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop health monitoring protocols for medical care for children and adults exposed to PFAS.
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