Public health notice of planned PFAS exposure assessment near former Reese AFB

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(Photo provided by the City of Lubbock)

LUBBOCK, Texas (NEWS RELEASE) – The following is a news release from the City of Lubbock Health Department:

The City of Lubbock Health Department wants to make the public aware of an upcoming exposure assessment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) will begin an exposure assessment of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water near Reese Technology Center, formerly Reese Air Force Base (AFB). The assessment will focus on an area near Reese Technology Center where many private wells have PFAS levels above federal or state guidelines.  Residences served by the Lubbock Water Utility will not be included because they have a different source of drinking water.  

PFAS are manmade chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products worldwide since the 1950s. They have been used in non-stick cookware, water-repellent clothing, stain resistant fabrics and carpets, some cosmetics, some firefighting foams, and products that resist grease, water, and oil. During production and use, PFAS can migrate into the soil, water, and air. Most PFAS (including PFOA and PFOS) do not breakdown, so they remain in the environment. Because of their widespread use and persistence in the environment, PFAS are found in the blood of people and animals all over the world and are present at low levels in a variety of food products. Some PFAS can build up in people and animals with repeated exposure over time.

An exposure assessment is a way to look at whether people in a community might have been exposed to a certain type of substance in their environment. In Lubbock, the assessment will look at possible PFAS exposure in the community near the former Reese AFB. The exposure assessment will lead to a better understanding of environmental factors that affect PFAS exposure. The information will also be used by public health professionals across the nation to help communities impacted by PFAS.

Households in the assessment area will be invited to participate.  ASTDR will hold a community information session on January 22, 2020 at the Terra Vista Middle School (1111 Upland Avenue, Lubbock, TX 79416) from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm.

You can find further information at: https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfas/index.html

(News release from the City of Lubbock)

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