People from Bennington and North Bennington who may have been affected by PFOA contamination of drinking water now have until Friday, August 17 to register for a blood test to determine the levels of PFOA in their blood.
The Health Department extended the deadline an additional week to allow more time for people interested in having their blood tested to sign up. The tests are for those who may have been impacted by the contamination, but who have not been previously tested for PFOA levels in their blood. 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 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. 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 and 2017.
- 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.
To register - If you are interested in having your blood tested, complete the online survey at healthvermont.gov/PFOAbloodtesting_2018 by Friday, August 17, 2018.
If you have questions or cannot access the survey online: Call 802-447-6404 to speak with a public health nurse in the Health Department's Bennington Office.
There is no cost to participants for the blood draw, laboratory analysis and report.
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 recently 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.
To find the survey, and for more information about PFAS: healthvermont.gov/PFOAbloodtesting_2018
Media Contact: Ben Truman, Vermont Department of Health, 802-951-5153 / 802-863-7281