"New Hampshire Town Polluted With PFAS Has Elevated Cancer Rates"

"The level of PFOA in the blood of Merrimack residents was almost three times the 2015-2016 national average."

"Residents of a New Hampshire town where drinking water was contaminated with the industrial compounds known as PFAS have elevated rates of several cancers compared to the national average and compared to several nearby communities that were not contaminated with the chemicals, according to a study published today in the journal Environmental Health Insights.

People living in Merrimack, in southern New Hampshire, had rates of thyroid cancer that were higher than the national average between 2005 and 2014. The authors also found that Merrimack residents had higher rates of thyroid, colon, and prostate cancer, when compared to several nearby towns that did not have high levels of PFAS contamination, as well as a higher risk of all cancers when compared to the relatively unexposed communities.

Merrimack is home to a Saint-Gobain factory that produces PFAS-lined glass and fabrics. Previously, the factory had been operated by the chemical company ChemFab, which Saint-Gobain acquired in 2000.

In 2016, two of Merrimack’s public drinking water wells were found to contain the toxic compound PFOA, a type of PFAS, in amounts above the Environmental Protection Agency’s 70 parts per trillion safety threshold. In 2019, the agency found 190 PFAS compounds in the air emissions coming out of the plant’s stack, most of which had never been identified before."

Sharon Lerner reports for The Intercept February 12 2022.

Source: The Intercept, 02/21/2022