PFAS and Water Briefing Held with Public Health Experts

On October 24, the National Environmental Health Association, the Association of Public Health Laboratories, the National Association of County and City Health Officials, Trust for America’s Health and the American Public Health Association held a Congressional briefing entitled, “What’s In Your Water?: Local, State and Federal Agencies Tackle PFAS and Water Protection,” and ASDWA staff attended. Following are some highlights from the briefing.

  • Patrick Breysse of CDC/Agency for Toxic Substance & Disease Registry (ATSDR) spoke about the general challenges of providing safe drinking from source to tap and the loss of public trust from contamination incidents such as those with lead and PFAS. He also discussed needs for infrastructure investment; communicating what safe water means to the public; and conducting more PFAS health effects research.
  • Christine Bean of New Hampshire’s Public Health Laboratory shared information about their lab testing efforts and CDC health study on uranium and arsenic, and their Environmental Public Health Tracking Program and WISDOM data portal website with information about PFAS blood testing and community exposure.
  • Karla Black of Kent County Health Department in Michigan provided information about their actions to locate and map PFAS levels in drinking water sources and then respond to address where high levels of PFAS were found by working with responsible parties, undertaking extensive outreach and communication efforts with the public, and now working with ATSDR on a health study.

For more information about the briefing, visit the NACCHO website.