Sierra Club: Joint Base Chemicals Linked to ADHD in Children

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The following is a press release submitted by Jeff Tittel, NJ Sierra Club

TRENTON-In August, the US Department of Defense (DOD) hired a company to begin testing the groundwater at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. They tested 21 sites on the base to determine the extent of perfluorinated compound contamination from perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). The contamination may have come from firefighting foam for military use. Now that contamination has been found off-base, in a surrounding community.

“Now we know that the PFO and PFOA contamination is more pervasive and being found in communities off-base. This is a very serious and systemic problem that needs to be dealt with. These PFOs come from substances such as firefighting foam and can seep into groundwater, both on the base and off it. They made the mess and now they have to clean it up and protect the communities around the Base,” said Jeff Tittel, New Jersey Sierra Club Director. “Putting the SRL Pipeline through this area will only make things worse.”

PFOA is a carcinogen that has been linked to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in children. A report published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences shows a relationship between slightly elevated levels of PFOA in the blood and a higher rate of ADHD diagnosis. The incidence of ADHD in children is rising and so is the amount of PFOA in the water supply. PFOA is found in many wells in New Jersey, especially in South Jersey near the DuPont site, but also in other parts of the state such as Sayerville. The current standard for PFOA in drinking water is 150 times what is recommended.

“The DOD needs to clean up this mess and the NJDEP needs to recognize the problem of PFOAs and set standards to prevent these things from happenings. These chemicals are harmful, especially to children. We have seen PFOAs show up too often in our waterways yet the DEP has not set any standards to fix this problem. New Jersey needs to move to adopt stricter regulations for PFOA in our drinking water,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.