The CDC Will Conduct PFAS Exposure Assessments that Can Help Communities

August 10, 2020 8073 users 0 Category: Chemical

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.

What Does Exposure Assessment Mean?

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.

A Brief on the Process of PFAS Exposure Assessment

Here is a step-by-step approach through which PFAS exposure assessment would be carried out:

  • The CDC/ATSDR staff will contact the members of the community and clarify their questions regarding the exposure assessments.
  • Random selection of households and invitation to participate.
  • Setting up a sampling center in the community to collect blood and urine samples.
  • Collection of environmental samples from a few participant's homes.
  • Laboratory analysis of environmental as well as blood/urine samples.
  • Test results will be sent to the participants.
  • Review of the results by the CDC/ATSDR
  • Hosting a community event by the CDC/ATSDR to discuss the results

How Does this Exposure Assessment Help Your Community?

The exposure assessment performed by the CDC/ATSDR will be of great help to your community in the following ways:

  • It helps to better understand the environmental factors that affect PFAS exposure.
  • This information may be used by the communities to cut down PFAS exposure.
  • It provides inputs that public health professionals throughout the nation can use to help PFAS exposure affected communities.
  • This information would be of help for the studies that may be conducted to analyze the PFAS exposure effects on human health.
  • The participants can get information on their individual PFAS exposure.