The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its sister agency, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) will conduct PFAS exposure assessments throughout communities surrounding former and current military bases in which drinking water was contaminated with PFAS. The primary objective of PFAS exposure assessments is to create awareness among the members of the community regarding the PFAS levels in their bodies. This information will be helpful for future studies that evaluate the health impact of PFAS.
An exposure assessment is a way to check whether the people living in a community have been exposed to toxic substances present in their environment. During this assessment, certain tests are performed to see if people have been exposed and also questionnaires will be given to identify potential sources of exposure. This information is quite helpful for public health professionals. It guides people on how to decrease or stop exposure. However, an exposure assessment may not decide the types of health problems that result from the exposure.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed in 2018 authorized the CDC/ATSDR to analyze the state of PFAS exposure in current or former military bases. To participate in the exposure assessments, a random selection of people residing in the communities will be done.
Here is a step-by-step approach through which PFAS exposure assessment would be carried out:
The exposure assessment performed by the CDC/ATSDR will be of great help to your community in the following ways: