NEWBURGH – The state health department will 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 water.”
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.”
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.