News Releases

December 26, 2018

Final Scheduled PFOA Blood Testing Clinic is December 28

State health officials are reminding people that the last scheduled PFOA blood test clinics will be held on December 28 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Bennington Local Health Office located at 324 Main St., Suite 2 in Bennington. No further appointments are being scheduled, but walk-ins eligible for blood testing are welcome.

Walk-in clients will be screened for eligibility and can have their blood drawn to be sent for PFOA testing. More than 100 people had their blood drawn at the two clinics conducted this past November.

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:

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

Source: Department of Health
Last Updated at: December 26, 2018 10:41:38