State health commissioner approves bio-monitoring of Newburgh residents


NEWBURGH – The state health department is going to conduct bio-monitoring
of Newburgh city residents in light of the city’s water supply in
Washington Lake being contaminated with the carcinogenic chemical PFOS.

City officials have been calling for blood testing of residents to determine
if they have any health complications from drinking the water, but until
now, the state has not offered to conduct the widespread testing.

State Senator William Larkin praised the state’s decision and said
he is hopeful that federal, state, and local officials “will continue
working together to protect the welfare of those exposed to contaminated

Residents of Newburgh “deserve clean drinking water, and they deserve
to know of any health risks they may be facing because of years of unsafe
drinking water,” said Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney. “I
will continue working with the CDC and state and local officials to ensure
Newburgh has the resources it needs to provide clean drinking water and
prepare for any potential health risks associated with the contamination.”

Meanwhile, environmental organization Riverkeeper official Dan Shapley
said while bio-monitoring is welcome, the health department should perform
“comprehensive blood testing in Newburgh, open to all residents.
Testing of all willing residents to determine PFOS exposure is a necessary
first step to address the ongoing health concerns of Newburgh residents.”

In light of the discovery of the chemical leaking from the Stewart Airport
Air National Guard Base, the state declared the facility a Superfund site,
and City Manager Michael Ciaravino and others have been calling for the
blood testing just as the state has been conducting it in Hoosick Falls,
where that community’s water supply was tainted.


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