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Questionnaire launched to gather information on PFOA exposure

Questionnaire launched to gather information on PFOA exposure (WRGB)

ALBANY, NY (WRGB) - Environmental experts are taking a new step to learn more about PFOA exposure, and possible links to certain illnesses.

Tuesday they launched a new public questionnaire that's part of Bennington College's "Understanding PFOA Project."

Researchers are asking residents living in communities affected by water contamination to fill out the questionnaire. That includes Hoosick Falls, NY, Petersburgh, NY, and Bennington, VT.

The questionnaire can be found online at www.bennington.edu/PFOA. It's made up of 10 questions that review exposure to PFOA, or familiarity with illnesses that studies have linked to PFOA exposure.

In 2013 the C8 Science Panel found a possible link between exposure to PFOA and six illnesses, including high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, testicular cancer, kidney cancer, and pregnancy-induced hypertension.

Judith Enck was the EPA's regional director for the area when the PFOA contamination came to light, she says this questionnaire is not an epidemiological study, but it will supplement previous studies. She hopes it will help indicate areas where more research is needed.

"The goal of this community questionnaire is to determine if there are trends, health trends in these communities among the residents who consumed contaminated water" Judith Enck, Former Regional Administrator of the EPA said. "If a trend is identified, it is our great hope that a more comprehensive health study will be done."

Enck also says she hopes this encourages the state Department of Health to do more bio-monitoring, or blood testing for PFOA levels.

"Individuals in the communities are articulating a lot of concerns about some of these illnesses," Dr. David Bond of Bennington College said. "We want to sort of count how many incidences of these illnesses are in the communities to provide some clarity to those concerns."

Charlene Pray, who lives in Hoosick Falls, says she's happy to hear of this new questionnare. She said she didn't think the original study went deep enough. She feels now it's time to speak with the people affected.

If you'd like to take the questionnaire go to www.bennington.edu/PFOA. You if you would like to receive a copy, or if you have questions, you can contact Dr. David Bond at 802-440-4324.

The deadline to fill out the questionnaire is October 1, 2017.

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