The U.S. Air Force will spend 30 million dollars this year to clean up ground water at Pease International Tradeport – contaminated by military firefighting foam used in exercises on the base dating back to the 1970s.
Those families tell us this most recent announcement is a step in the right direction but there’s more work to be done.
“I think it’s great they’re putting so many resources into Pease and working hard to clean up,” said Andrea Amico who founded the advocacy group Testing for Pease after finding out her husband and kids had been exposed.
Amico’s two children attended daycare at Pease. They were part of the group of more than 350 kids tested by New Hampshire health officials in 2015. They were found to have elevated levels preflourinated compounds in their blood. Exposure has been linked in animal studies to cancer and thyroid problems, but it is unclear the impact in humans.
“I do lose a lot of sleep at night thinking about what health effects my children may have as a result of their exposure,” Amico said.
The Air Force spent $25 million last year. Peter Forbes, the Environmental Project Manager at Pease tells us much this year’s $30 million will go toward construction of a groundwater treatment system that could be up and running as soon as January.
“It’s really important to the community that they continue the efforts to clean up the chemicals and help the community better understand the health impacts,” Amico said.
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She and other parents are calling for a federally funded long-term health study of the people exposed to the chemicals here at Pease.