Jan 14, 2008

Minnesota Communities to be Tested for PFCs

Biomonitoring project to measure PFC levels in adults in Lake Elmo area

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is proposing a biomonitoring project to measure levels of three perfluorochemicals (PFCs) in adults who live in the Lake Elmo, Minn. area, where drinking water was found to contain PFCs.

The full effects of PFCs on humans are currently unknown, but the MDH hopes the biomonitoring project could give researchers more information.

The project would encompass two communities. The first community includes Oakdale and Lake Elmo households, and is made up of households served by the Oakdale municipal drinking water supply. The second community includes households in Lake Elmo and Cottage Grove, where private wells were found to contain perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and pefluorobutanoic acid (PFBA). The project will measure the levels of those PFCs in blood samples from 100 adults from each community, the Lake Elmo Leader reported.

The project should begin this summer and the MDH anticipates submitting a report to the Minnesota Legislature in early 2009, the newspaper reported. Participation is voluntary, but people will be asked to participate based on a number of demographic and exposure factors, according to the MDH.

PFCs are a manufactured chemical family used in the production of items resistant to heat, oil, stains, grease and water manufactured at 3M Co.’s Cottage Grove facility starting in the 1940s, according to the newspaper. PFCs were commonly used in nonstick cookware, stain-resistant carpeting and fabric, fire-fighting foam and other industrial applications.

There will be a public meeting on the proposal at Lake Elmo Elementary School on Jan. 28 at 7 p.m.