Survey finds elevated levels of ‘forever chemicals’ among residents in vicinity of New Castle Airport


Testing by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry have found higher-than-normal levels of PFAS in blood and urine samples among residents living in the vicinity of New Castle Airport, formally known as Wilmington Airport.

The testing came after high levels of PFAS, sometimes known as forever chemicals, were found in drinking water around the airport, which serves as a base for the Delaware Air National Guard.

blankPFAs were used over the years in firefighting chemicals.

DuPont and 3M have been involved in the production and use of the chemicals that made their way into everything from Teflon pans as well as firefighting foams.

The area around Dover Air Force Base is also being monitored.

The CDC randomly selected participants as a way to estimate exposure for other members of the community in the airport area. The federal agency is now reviewing additional information on age and location and will share its final findings in a community meeting.

The CDC noted that upon discovery of the PFAs, the water system around the airport underwent treatment that reduced levels of the chemicals.

.A map of the sampling area can be found at:

When it came to PFHxS, residents recorded levels that were more than 15 times the national average.

blankThree PFAS (PFHxS, PFOA, and PFOS) were detected above national averages. The levels of PFNA, PFDA, MeFOSAA and PFUnA were similar to national averages.

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) has measured PFAS levels in blood in the U.S. population. Most people in the United States have been exposed to PFAS and have PFAS in their blood.

Researchers also collected and analyzed indoor dust samples from 13 participating households. CDC/ATSDR is evaluating the dust sample results and will have more information in its final report.

(See report below)

Click to access PFAS-Exposure-Assessment-New-Castle-County-DE-Community-Level-Results.pdf

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