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NYS commits to blood testing in Newburgh


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The New York State Department of Health made clear commitments this week to the people who have been exposed to Newburgh’s contaminated drinking water. The Department of Health pledged to make free blood testing for PFOS and other perfluorinated compounds available to all who are interested, to remain active in the community for a “long, long time,” and to conduct more aggressive outreach to ensure the people in and around Newburgh take advantage of these services.

Riverkeeper has been calling for these commitments, along with a thorough investigation and cleanup of the contamination, and a long term plan for protecting the water supply into the future.

These commitments will be put to the test as the Department of Health begins to create and implement their own community outreach plan.

img_0659Much of the outreach to encourage the community to attend the October 25, 2016 public meeting and register for blood testing has been conducted by the City of Newburgh, EPA and non-government organizations, like Riverkeeper, Independence for Newburgh and other local partners. While outreach challenges exist in Newburgh, the Department of Health must undertake a serious effort to ensure that information about blood testing is widely distributed throughout the community.

Please get informed and help inform others by using our web page on the Newburgh Drinking Water Crisis:

Blood testing is an essential first step of a comprehensive health response. While generally appreciative of the Department of Health’s blood testing announcement, community members are still left with many unanswered questions about the health effects of their exposure to PFOS. Riverkeeper has called on the Department of Health to convene a panel of experts to develop a long term medical monitoring program that would not only benefit Newburgh, but communities across the state facing similar water contamination crises.

Those interested in signing up or learning more about blood testing should contact the New York State Department of Health’s Bureau of Environmental & Occupational Epidemiology, via email: [email protected] or by phone at (518) 402-7950.

More information:

Blood testing to go beyond City of Newburgh (Mid-Hudson News)

Water contamination crisis in Newburgh (Times Herald Record)

Newburgh residents fear health effects of toxic water (Times Herald-Record)

Help us help Newburgh: 3 critical actions to take for clean water (Riverkeeper)

Tell Gov. Hochul to block invasive species at the Erie and Champlain canals
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