Her research quickly led her to a recent report on PFOA, or perfluorooctanoic acid, also known as C8, a chemical that for six decades was used by DuPont in the production of Teflon and other products. Research on people in West Virginia and Ohio who had consumed water contaminated by leaks from a nearby DuPont factory showed probable links between the chemical and six diseases, including kidney cancer.
Cervera soon discovered that the very same chemical, as well as a related one, PFOS, had been found in drinking water in her area. Both were part of a larger class known as perfluorinated chemicals, or PFCs, “emerging contaminants” that were still being studied — and had yet to be regulated. And, according to public notices from the local water and sewer authorities, both had come from foam that was used to put out airplane fires and train soldiers at two nearby military bases — the Naval Air Warfare Center in Warminster and a former naval air station at Willow Grove, now owned by the Pennsylvania Air National Guard.
Cervera knew the bases well. One of her daughters works across the street from the Naval Air Warfare Center, which everyone calls Johnsville. Willow Grove is only about a mile south of her house; she drives by it practically every day. The Wawa convenience store where she buys milk and gas is directly across the street from Willow Grove, which the Navy shut down in 2011. It wasn’t hard to imagine how water from that former base would make its way to her home. The road that runs between the two parallels a creek that floods practically every time it rains.
When they moved 25 miles north to Warrington from Philadelphia in 2000, the Cerveras had found the well at their new home charming. Now, after reading about the contamination, she regarded it with suspicion. Had the water she drank and used to make coffee, brush her teeth, fill kiddie pools, and mix infant formula for her grandchildren over the years contained chemicals from the military bases?
In August 2014, she decided to find out and requested a free test of the well water, which the local EPA office was offering to families living close to the bases. Three months later, an agency staffer rang her bell to hand-deliver the results: Though the chemicals were present in their well, they weren’t at levels of concern, he assured her. “We were so relieved,” said Cervera, who went on drinking and cooking with the water.
However, EPA monitoring done around the time of Cervera’s surgery showed that the Warminster municipal water authority, which provides water to the township adjacent to Warrington, had the third-highest level of PFOS of all public drinking water systems tested in the entire country — 1.09 parts per billion — as well as a very high rate of PFOA, .349 ppb." Go to: https://theintercept.com/2015/12/16/toxic-firefighting-foam-has-contaminated-u-s-drinking-water-with-pfcs/ for full article.