Exposure assessment shows Reese Center area residents’ blood levels exceed nation in some PFAS substances

Published: Jan. 7, 2021 at 7:21 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Nearly a year after announcing an exposure assessment near Reese Technology Center, the CDC and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has the initial results showing just how much nearby residents have been impacted by substances from firefighting foam used on the former Air Force base.

Around 96 households made up of 190 adults and 24 children around Reese submitted samples of blood and urine for the assessment. They have had per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in their drinking water.

Samples were analyzed from early March to November of last year. The results show 86 percent of them had levels of perflurohexane sulfonic acid above the national average. Sixty-two percent also had levels of total perfluorooctanoic acid above the national average.

The assessment found substances in low amounts in a small number of urine samples.

According to ATSDR, most people in the United States have these substances, which are man-made and found in industrial and consumer products, in their blood.

In a letter to participants with their individual results, the Department of Health and Human sServices couldn’t specify the health impacts caused by exposure to the substances, but studies have shown high levels of certain substances could lead to anything from increased cholesterol to decreased vaccine response in children or increased risk of cancer.

The government hasn’t said when a community meeting will be held about this assessment but they’ve promised to discuss the findings and their recommendations with public.

ATSDR says drinking water in the area tested by the Air Force is meeting all federal guidelines for the substances.

For a look at the complete results, click here.

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