Mines, CU Researchers Win Grant To Study Peterson AFB Groundwater Contamination

· Dec. 21, 2017, 7:09 pm
Photo: Peterson AFB Fire Training Mock AirplaceGrace Hood/CPR News
This mock aircraft is part of a fire training system at Peterson Air Force Base, in Colorado Springs. The standing water is linked to a nearby tank. In August 2016, water in the system showed high levels of PFCs.

Researchers from the Colorado School of Public Health at CU Anschutz and the Colorado School of Mines are being backed by a federal grant to study the health of people exposed to contaminated water last summer near Colorado Springs.

The U.S. Air Force said that firefighting foam used in training from Peterson Air Force Base contaminated groundwater and soil at levels well above advised limits. The researchers will look at about 200 people who used contaminated water in Fountain, Security and Widefield.

The grant is from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, a program of the National Institutes of Health. According to a statement announcing the grant:

Currently, little is known about the health effects of human exposure to PFASs in areas with drinking water contaminated by AFFF, and no systematic biomonitoring has been done in these communities. 

“Because we suspect that any health effects are likely related to peak blood levels, it is important to collect the blood data and health effect information as soon as we can,” Dr. Adgate said.

In February, the Air Force committed to a five-year plan to deal with the contamination.

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