Background

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ASTDR) conducted a nationwide study to assess public exposure to PFAS and possible health effects related to exposure in 2019. CDC/ATSDR conducted research at select sites throughout the country, including Airway Heights, Wash. Airway Heights was selected for assessment due to contamination that occurred at Fairchild Airforce base. Learn more about PFAS here.

Public exposure to PFAS has been an increasing concern because of multiple sites throughout the United States where PFAS-contaminated drinking water has been found, typically related to PFAS production facilities or fire training areas where aqueous film forming foam (firefighting foam) was used.

PFAS Exposure Assessment

In 2019, CDC/ATSDR conducted exposure assessments in eight communities throughout the United States associated with current or former military sites where PFAS exposure occurred, including Airway Heights. The assessment measured PFAS levels in the blood and urine of study volunteers who were exposed to contaminated drinking water in the past. Researchers then compared the findings to PFAS levels found in the general U.S. population to determine rates of exposure. The results of this assessment will help researchers to identify and assess factors affecting exposure.

For Airway Heights PFAS Exposure Assessment Participants

If you participated in the Airway Heights PFAS Exposure Assessment, you may have received a letter from CDC/ATSDR regarding your results. If you have questions about your results, please consider speaking with your doctor. You may also email questions and concerns to PFAS@CDC.gov or Arthur Wendel, MD, Regional Representative, Region 10, ATSDR. If you decide to contact your doctor, be sure to follow COVID-19 guidance provided by your clinic and please call ahead first.

For more information about PFAS, see this FAQ produced by the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units in partnership with CDC/ATSDR or visit the PEHSU Resources page.

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