PORTSMOUTH, NH: Today, NH Attorney General Gordon MacDonald, announced in a 40-page document that he has filed a lawsuits against 8 manufacturers of perfluorinated chemicals (PFAS or PFCs) including 3M, DuPont, Chemours, Chemguard, Tyco Fire Products, Buckeye Fire Equipment, Kidde-Fenwal, and National Foam, Inc. on behalf of NH communities facing drinking water contamination at a press conference this morning in Concord.
Former state Rep. Mindi Messmer, an environmental scientist and co-founder of New Hampshire Safe Water Alliance, said the biggest concern for PFAS exposure still comes from runoff from landfills, such as Coakley, into surface water supplies and also from PFAS chemicals’ presence in biosolids, which get turned into compost material and spread over agricultural lands.
“There are 300 landfills in the state and only eight have liners under them. There’s a lot that needs to be addressed in a holistic approach,” said Messmer, who is also a member of the state Commission on the Seacoast Cancer Cluster Investigation.
Based on the new research from Minnesota, which the state says it’s also reviewing, Messmer says the standards should instead be no higher than: 3 ppt for PFOA; 13 ppt for PFOS; 30 ppt for PFHxS; and 1 ppt for PFNA.
Messmer led a group of environmental activists to deliver a petition with more than a thousand signatures at the DES offices in Portsmouth Friday.
“Now it’s time for our state to stop protecting the financial interests of polluters and start protecting us from the chemicals in the water,” Messmer said. “We have paid our price.”
GREENLAND -- The Board of Selectmen sent a letter to state officials urging them to set more protective drinking water standards for dangerous PFAS chemicals.
“While the standards being proposed are a good start and an improvement over current standards, the town believes that the proposed limits are not strict enough to ensure the safety of our drinking water,” selectmen state in the letter.
ATSDR acknowledges it has heard concerns from mothers who have been exposed to PFAS and how it might affect their infants when breastfeeding.
“Developmental effects are the most sensitive adverse health effects resulting from early life exposure to some PFAS,” the ATSDR stated in the report. “Studies have shown infants are exposed during pregnancy, through the mother to the fetus, and occur to the nursing infant during breastfeeding.”