Children’s Health Study

As part of PFAS-REACH, we are investigating the effects of PFAS on the immune systems of young children in two communities that have been exposed to contaminated drinking water—Hyannis on Cape Cod, MA and Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth, NH.

PFAS levels exceeding the EPA health guideline were found in the Hyannis drinking water supply prior to July 2016 and in the Pease drinking water supply prior to May 2014. The contamination at both sites came from the use of firefighting foams for training activities. Although the communities’ water systems are currently being treated to filter out PFAS, we want to learn about the effects of past exposures on children’s health.
Studies suggest PFAS can depress the immune system, potentially making vaccines less effective in children with high exposures. This effect has been shown for children who have been exposed to PFAS through their diet. PFAS-REACH is the first to investigate effects in children who have been exposed to PFAS through contaminated drinking water. Families who participate in our study will be asked to bring their children (ages 4 to 6) to a clinic for a blood draw and answer questions about their children’s health and water consumption. Findings from the study will be shared with the community, and study participants will receive a personalized health report with their results.
Participating in the study will help us advance science on the health effects associated with these emerging drinking water contaminants and inform drinking water guidelines that protect communities from potentially hazardous exposures.
For information on joining the study, contact us at:
email:  pfas-reach@silentspring.org
Call or text: 617-600-8348

Additional resources:

PFAS-REACH (Research, Education and Action for Community Health) is a 5-year study led by Silent Spring Institute, in collaboration with Northeastern University and Michigan State University. Our community partners are Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition, Testing for Pease, and Community Action Works. Our study is funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health.