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PFAS Task Force meets, must make recommendations by October 1st


(WTNH)–The state is moving quickly to address an emerging health risk. Chemicals known to cause cancer and other health problems are now being discovered in dangerous levels in our environment.

As many as 200 private wells may have to be tested in Windsor in the vicinity of the spill of firefighting foam in the Farmington River from Bradley Airport last month.

It has put a focus on Polyfluoroalkyl and related man made chemicals commonly referred to as PFAS. The stuff is used in all kinds of products and industry.

It prompted the Governor to appoint a special task force to get the state ahead of the curve on dealing with what has only emerged in recent years as a major health risk. The Task Force holding their first meeting on Tuesday.

“These chemicals, there’s thousands of them in this class of contaminants. The toxicology, the science, is just emerging to help us understand the impacts they have on human health,” said Commissioner Katie Dykes of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

The Department of Public Health Commissioner, Renee Coleman-Mitchell, adding, “We have an absolute short window but this is truly a public health issue that we have to address with most immediate concern.”

On Monday we reported on bottled waters from a spring in Massachusetts, found on Connecticut store shelves, that tested at double the levels recommended for PFAS. The guidelines recommend very small, minute traces of the stuff because it’s so toxic.

Brian Toal is head of the Environmental Health Section of the State Department of Public Health. He explains, “Our drinking water guidelines are in the parts per trillion level and normally our drinking water guidelines or standards are in the parts per billion or parts per million.”

The recommended level is no more than 70 parts per trillion. The water from the spring in Massachusetts was 120-137 parts per trillion.

Hangars at Bradley are required by the F.A.A. to have PFAS fire fighting foam. The state’s 9 firefighting training schools also have it and inventories are now underway.

The Governor has asked this special task force to come up with a specific plan by October 1st to address PFAS in drinking water and other areas of the environment.


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