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0000017a-15d9-d736-a57f-17ff8f4d0000NHPR’s ongoing coverage of water contamination at the former Pease Air Force Base and in the communities surrounding the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics plant in Merrimack. We’ll keep you updated on day to day developments, and ask bigger questions, such as:What do scientists know about the health effects of perfluorochemicals like PFOA, PFOS and PFHxS?How are policy makers in New Hampshire responding to these water contaminants?How are scientists and policymakers communicating potential risks?How are other states responding to similar contaminations?

Drinking Water in Windham Shows Elevated Levels of PFCs

Four wells in a neighborhood in Windham contain elevated levels of PFCs, a chemical contaminant, according to test results released Friday by the state’s Department of Environmental Services.

DES says the likely source of the elevated concentrations is Central Metal Finishing, Inc., located on Lexington Road. The four wells ranged in concentrations of 70.4 parts per trillion up to 396 parts per trillion. The state’s quality standard for PFC concentrations is 70 parts per trillion.

Tests done at nearby public schools did not return levels above state thresholds. However, the school district and DES are developing a well monitoring plan and are looking into water treatment options.

PFCs and similar manmade compounds have turned up in wells throughout the state in recent years. The chemical is used to make a variety of products, including non-stick cookware and fire-fighting foams.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University. He can be reached at tbookman@nhpr.org.
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