State News
August 1, 2018

PFOA blood testing offered to Bennington residents

The Vermont Department of Health will be providing for blood tests for some people who may have been affected by PFOA contamination of drinking water in Bennington and North Bennington, but who have not been previously tested.

There is no cost to participants for the blood draw, laboratory analysis and report. The Vermont Legislature has made funding available for this effort.

In 2016, private drinking water wells in the area around the former Chemfab/Saint-Gobain facility contained PFOA ranging from none to nearly 3,000 parts per trillion, well above Vermont’s health advisory of 20 parts per trillion.

A blood test can measure the level of PFOA in an individual’s blood; most adults have low levels of PFOA in their blood.

The blood test cannot tell if a person’s exposure to PFOA will cause health problems in the future, or if a health problem was caused by PFOA, but it may help inform discussions with a person’s doctor about their health.

You are eligible for the PFOA blood test if:

You did not already have your blood tested at a Health Department-sponsored clinic in 2016 and 2017,
AND
The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation tested the well of a home in North Bennington/Bennington where you live now, or where you lived any time in the past 10 years,
OR
You worked or lived at the former Chemfab/Saint-Gobain site at 940/1030 Water St. in North Bennington, or you work or live there now.

For more information or if you are interested in having your blood tested, complete the online survey at healthvermont.gov/PFOAbloodtesting_2018 by Friday, Aug. 7.

Some studies show that these PFOA and related contaminants may affect growth, learning and behavior in babies and older children, lower a woman’s chance of getting pregnant, interfere with the body’s natural hormones, increase cholesterol levels, affect the immune system, and increase the risk of cancer. The likelihood of having a health effect due to PFAS exposure depends on how much an individual was exposed to, and for how long.

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