Blood tests of Horsham, Warrington, and Warminster residents released last year found that residents who drank the tainted water have levels of PFAS in their blood above the national average.
PFAS were used in firefighting foams used at military bases, airports, and private companies nationwide but are also present in many modern-day products and have been linked to cancer, fertility problems, liver damage, high cholesterol, and other health problems.
PFAS can be found in:
Food packaged in PFAS-containing materials, processed with equipment that used PFAS, or grown in PFAS-contaminated soil or water.
Commercial household products, including stain- and water-repellent fabrics, nonstick products (e.g., Teflon), polishes, waxes, paints, cleaning products, and fire-fighting foams (a major source of groundwater contamination at airports and military bases where firefighting training occurs).
Workplace, including production facilities or industries (e.g., chrome plating, electronics manufacturing or oil recovery) that use PFAS.
Drinking water, typically localized and associated with a specific facility (e.g., manufacturer, landfill, wastewater treatment plant, firefighter training facility).
Living organisms, including fish, animals and humans, where PFAS have the ability to build up and persist over time.
Residents in at least 22 other towns in Bucks and Montgomery Counties also have PFAS in their drinking water. The military and other federal agencies get involved only when PFAS exceed 70 parts per trillion, but some states, including New Jersey, have proposed their own levels that are lower. Vermont has the strictest advisory level at 20 parts per trillion.
In New Jersey, the military has tested private wells near Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and provided bottled water to residents with wells that tested over the EPA advisory level.
The military is in the process of testing more than 400 bases nationwide for similar contamination. The process will take years and cost millions of dollars. Read more here