NH DHHS Releases Timeline for Remainder of Pease Testing Program

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS) has announced the timeline for releasing test results to individuals

who participated in the second round of the Pease Tradeport

perfluorochemicals (PFCs) testing program. In May 2014, perfluorooctane

sulfonic acid (PFOS) was discovered in one of the wells that serves the

Tradeport at levels above the provisional advisory level for drinking water

set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Because of concerns about

exposure to PFCs, DHHS offered PFC blood testing to anyone who worked or

attended child care on the Tradeport and consumed contaminated water. A

total of 1,575 individuals provided blood samples during the first and

second rounds of the testing program, which occurred from April to October

of 2015.

During the second round of sampling, which occurred from August to October

2015, 1,104 individuals provided blood samples for PFC testing. DHHS is

determined to conclude testing and reporting of individual results to all

participants by April 2016 and is therefore working with two labs in

addition to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to

expedite the testing process.

“This has been a long and complicated process and I know individuals

anxiously await the results of their blood tests,” said DHHS Commissioner

Nick Toumpas. “I wish to thank the participants for their tremendous

patience. These are uncharted waters and I commend DHHS staff, the

Community Advisory Board, Portsmouth Regional Hospital, and our partners at

the state, federal, and local level for their many contributions to the

testing of the Pease community.”

The CDC lab, which conducted testing and analysis for all 471 samples in

round one of testing, is also testing the first 300 blood samples drawn

during round two. DHHS anticipates beginning to mail individual results

reports to participants in January 2016, once DHHS has received the results

of the first batch of testing from the CDC laboratory.

Due to the volume of samples received during this second round of testing,

however, no single laboratory was capable of testing all of the samples in

a timely manner. Therefore, DHHS has finalized an agreement with AXYS

Analytical laboratory to test 700 blood samples. DHHS began sending samples

to AXYS in batches in early December. DHHS will be mailing results from

AXYS to individuals as blood samples are tested and reported to DHHS in

batches. DHHS anticipates beginning to receive results from AXYS in January

with all test results from AXYS mailed to participants by the end of March


Additionally, DHHS just finalized an agreement with the Public Health

Institute on behalf of the State of California to test the remaining

approximately 100 samples, with results to be mailed to individuals by

April 2016. Once all the results from the second round of testing are

completed and mailed, DHHS will prepare a final analysis and report on the

entire testing program for tentative release in May, followed by a public

meeting to discuss the testing program as a whole with members of the


For individuals who missed the DHHS PFC blood testing program but would

still like to know their blood PFC levels, DHHS has identified two

laboratories that offer testing to individuals through their primary care

providers. Information about their testing process, panel of PFCs tested,

and pricing can be obtained by calling the numbers listed below and/or

visiting their website:

· Vista Analytical Laboratory (phone: 916-673-1520, website:

http://www.vista-analytical.com): offers testing for a panel of PFCs,

including PFOA, PFOS, PFHxS, and PFNA.

· NMS Laboratory (phone: 866-522-2206, website: http://www.nmslabs.com

): offers testing for PFOA.

The Pease Tradeport previously operated as an Air Force base from 1956 to

1991. It is suspected that firefighting foam used by the Air Force starting

around 1970 for plane crashes and training exercises contained PFCs that

leached into the ground and consequently contaminated the well.

PFCs have been used for decades in many commercial and home products, such

as stain-resistant carpeting, fire-fighting foam, nonstick cookware, fabric

coatings, and some food packaging. As a result, they are found throughout

the environment and in people’s bodies. They do not break down easily in

the environment and can remain in our bodies for extended periods of time,

so PFCs can be detected in the blood of most people. Studies evaluating

health effects of PFCs have been inconsistent and sometimes contradictory.

Because of this, it is unclear what health effects might occur from finding

PFCs in a person’s blood.

For more information on the Pease water situation and the testing program,

visit http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/investigation-pease.htm. For more

information about monitoring of the water by the NH Department of

Environmental Services, go to