Newburgh City Manager Calls For Blood Tests For Residents
Newburgh City manager Michael Ciaravino is petitioning the New York State Department of Health to provide blood tests for residents. Newburgh's primary source of drinking water was closed off in May because of contamination.
High levels of PFOS or perfluorooctane sulfonate were discovered in Washington Lake this past May which forced the closure. According to the Times Herald Record, a testing program was rolled out for residents of Hoosick Falls in Rensselaer County under similar circumstances, so there is precedent.
PFOS can be be found in fire fighting foams and used to be a key ingredient in Scotchgard. Health side affects include cancer, problems with development and stunted growth. In some cases neonatal mortality is a possibility. PFOS can be found in the blood of most humans but levels have been declining in recent years.
Newburgh Mayor Judy Kennedy declared the water crisis over in May, but questions remain on it's affect on residents. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has had a ban in place on PFOS since 2000.