The New York state Department of Health announced Friday that is extending the PFOS blood testing program for Newburgh by eight weeks. PFOS drinking water contamination came to light in May 2016 and blood testing began in November.
State Health Department Deputy Commissioner for the Office of Public Health Brad Hutton says the free blood testing that was slated to end October 31 will be extended to December 31.
“The issue is that we’re reaching the point where we’re beginning to see that results for residents who were tested more recently have lower levels than persons who were tested in the past,” Hutton says.
He says to continue testing into the new year could skew results to depict lower levels of PFOS exposure than was the case. Hutton says, to date, more than 3,275 people in the Newburgh area have had their blood levels tested. On Thursday, Newburgh City Manager Michael Ciaravino wrote to the Health Department Commissioner asking that the blood testing program be extended and that the outreach effort improved.