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.”
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House Bill 494, sponsored by Rep. Renny Cushing, D-Hampton, declares an “imminent hazard” and directs the state Department of Environmental Services to pursue an immediate remedy to remove or contain certain contaminants from the landfill.
he film screenings are a collaboration of New Hampshire Safe Water Alliance, Union of Concerned Scientists, Conservation Law Foundation, NH Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, Dartmouth Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program and Dartmouth’s Sustainability Department.
Former Democratic state Rep. Mindi Messmer of Rye pointed to two pediatric cancer clusters identified on the Seacoast and that New Hampshire has the highest rates of pediatric, breast and bladder cancers in America.
Gillibrand noted New York has cancer clusters “all across my state” because of its manufacturing tradition.
“It’s something the EPA must take seriously,” she said. “Our responsibility is to protect people, our number one responsibility, but the greed and corruption in Washington, I promise you, the polluters, they have so much power. Money in politics drowns out everyone else’s voice. The biggest challenge we have is not just the pollution, it’s the greed.”
Messmer asked Inslee what his position is on health care, on providing it for everyone.
“I believe universal health access is a right,” said Inslee. “I hope we (Washington) will be the first state with a public option. We are integrating our physical and mental health care. And, I believe in increasing access to Medicare for all who want it.”