The Department of Health is developing plans to test Newburgh resident’s blood.

WAMC reports that the State Health Department is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as other federal organization, to form a plan to test Newburgh residents for toxic chemicals in their blood.

In May 2016, City of Newburgh residents learned their drinking water supply was contaminated with the man-made chemical Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) at concentrations above the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recently updated lifetime drinking water health advisory level. PFOS is a potentially toxic chemical.

Studies show that exposure to PFOS over certain levels may result in adverse health effects, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, kidney cancer, testicular cancer, liver damage, low birth weight, and other serious health effects.

The health department is still working out the details of their upcoming test and hopes to release more information in the near future.

Many have called for free testing after City of Newburgh residents learned their water was contaminated.

Last month in a letter to the CDC New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand wrote: “While we do not yet know what specific level of PFOS in a person’s blood might result in adverse health effects, blood test results can provide the following benefits: help shed light on the extent of residents’ exposure to PFOS; enable residents to compare their PFOS blood levels to those in other communities where residents have been exposed to elevated levels of PFOS and other PFAS; and be added to residents’ medical files to help inform their discussions with medical providers.”

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney is pleased to learn of the testing. ““My neighbors in Newburgh deserve clean drinking water, and they deserve to know of any health risks they may be facing because of years of unsafe drinking water,” he stated. “I’m glad that the NYS DOH has agreed with our call to test folks in Newburgh for contamination – this is a critical step to learning the extent of our exposure and determining the potential health effects of our drinking water.”

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