Department of Health and Human Services Outlines Blood Testing for PFC

July 22, 2016

 

by Kaylee Murphy

New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Environmental Services hosted a meeting at Campbell High School this past Tuesday. An update was given in regard to a more permanent water solution and the blood testing process was explained.

Pennichuck as of this week completed the design plan, and St. Gobain has two weeks to take a course of action. As of right now everything is still on plan, and, if St. Gobain agrees with this plan, they hope to have the affected areas in Litchfield hooked up to public water by the beginning of December. So far St. Gobain has been cooperative and has agreed to pay for everything except for the blood testing. This includes the design plan, bottled water, private well testing, testing of places with agriculture, and sensitive testing (schools and playgrounds). NHDES is still pushing to have St. Gobain’s pay for the blood testing.

Private well water testing is still happening in Litchfield outside of the 1.5 radius. NHDES is not confident that they have found a southern border of where the affected area ends. If Litchfield residents have not gotten their private well water tested yet, they are urged to do so, because it could very well contain perfluorooctanoic acid or/ and perfluorooctane sulfonate above 70 parts per trillion.

There are several steps to the PFC blood testing process. The first step is to register for the PFC blood testing you can do this on their website at www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/pfcs/bloodtesting.htm. If you do not have access to a computer or to the internet you can call them at 271-9461, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

The second step is to fill out their online questionnaire. It is 10 to 15 questions. If you are unsure if you qualify for the free PFC testing this questionnaire will help you determine if you are. If you private well did not test at 70 ppt or higher, but your neighbors did you qualify for a blood test. If you lived in an area for certain amount of time that currently is affected by PFCs, but don’t live there anymore, you may also still qualify.

The next step is the lab requisition form. You will not be able to get blood drawn unless you have this form when you go to give blood. Since this is a specialized blood test, professionals have been trained to how best take your blood in order to get the results. Since this is a relatively new and very specific test it will be sent to an out-of-state lab to do the testing. NHDHHS will receive the results from the lab and then mail the results to your address. There will be two separate test results on there, one for PFOA and the other for PFO.

PFCs are really only damaging when consumed. Showering should not increase the PFC level in your body. Everyone in the U.S. has some level of PFCs in them. There is no way to get PFCs out of your body. Slowly over time PFC levels can lower in your body.

Litchfield resident Len Stanhope had his well tested and the results came back at 126 ppt. He has been receiving bottled water regularly. When asked if he thought that St. Gobain has been doing a good enough job, he answered, “It’s been such as short period of time doing this, I think they’ve done a fairly good job.”

For more information and the latest updates visit des.nh.gov