News Releases

November 21, 2018

Appointments Full but Walk-Ins Welcome at Upcoming PFOA Blood Testing Clinic

Scheduling is complete for the Vermont Department of Health's three upcoming PFOA blood test clinics in Bennington, but officials want the public to know that walk-ins eligible for blood testing are welcome.

The final blood draw clinics of 2018 will be held at the Bennington Local Health Office located at 324 Main St., Suite 2 in Bennington. Clinic dates are November 28 from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., November 29 from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and on December 28 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Walk-ins will be screened for eligibility and can have their blood drawn. Due to staffing limitations, walk-ins should anticipate longer wait times to accommodate the screening process.

In 2016, private drinking water wells in the area around the former Chemfab/Saint-Gobain facility had detections of PFOA ranging from non-detect 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, and this can be compared to levels measured by CDC's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) for adults and older children in the U.S. 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.

A person is eligible for the PFOA blood test if:

* You did not already have your blood tested at a Health Department-sponsored clinic in 2016, 2017 or 2018.

- and either -

* 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 Street in North Bennington, or you work or live there now.

There is no cost to participants for the blood draw, laboratory analysis and report.

If you have questions about the blood testing clinics: Call 802-951-0188 to speak with a public health nurse at the Health Department.

PFOA is one of a large group of per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances known as PFAS. As part of the State of Vermont's ongoing response to detections of PFAS in drinking water, the health advisory was updated to include PFOA and PFOS, plus PFHxS, PFHpA and PFNA. Added together, the levels of these PFAS may not exceed 20 parts per trillion.

Some studies show that these PFAS 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.

For more information about PFAS: healthvermont.gov/environment/drinking-water/perfluoroalkyl-and-polyfluoroalkyl-substances-pfas-drinking-water

Media Contact: Ben Truman, Vermont Department of Health, 802-951-5153 / 802-863-7281

Source: Department of Health
Last Updated at: November 21, 2018 08:56:50