Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter

Representing the 1st District of New Hampshire

NH Delegation Calls on Trump Administration to Immediately Release Study About Health Impacts of PFOA and PFOS

May 15, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON –  Congresswomen Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) and Annie Kuster (NH-02), and U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) sent a letter yesterday calling on the Trump Administration to immediately release an important study about the health impacts of PFOA and PFOS.

The Trump Administration hid the existence of this study from the public and members of Congress for five months, according to a Politico report yesterday. Emails released as the result of a public records request show that a White House official warned the release of the study would pose a “public relations nightmare.”

The delegation wrote, “It is unacceptable and irresponsible that release of this study has been blocked for five months out of fear that it would create a ‘potential public relations nightmare.’ Families who have been exposed to emerging contaminants deserve to know about any potential health impacts that the contaminants may involve, and it is completely unacceptable that your agencies are withholding science-based information and failing to provide details to these families.”

The letter continued, “We are deeply troubled by the decision to withhold such an important study regarding a contaminant that has impacted Granite Staters and other states throughout the country. We urge you to immediately release this study for public review without further delay.”

See below for the full text of the letter or click here:

 

May 14, 2018

 

 

 

The Honorable Scott Pruitt

Administrator

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Office of the Administrator

1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC 20460

 

The Honorable Alex M. Azar II

Secretary

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

200 Independence Avenue, S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20201

 

 

Dear Administrator Pruitt and Secretary Azar,

 

We write to you today regarding a report citing that Trump administration officials blocked the release of a study that reportedly showed that per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) can have negative health effects at levels far lower than the EPA has previously acknowledged. We are gravely concerned that the findings have been kept from the public and urge you to release it immediately.

This study, conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services, has been described as a toxicological profile that lists the dangers of the PFAS chemicals, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), and is based on a review of previously conducted scientific studies. Previous health advisories from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicate that “exposure to PFOA and PFOS over certain levels may result in adverse health effects, including developmental effects to fetuses during pregnancy or to breastfed infants, cancer, liver effects (e.g., tissue damage), immune effects (e.g., antibody production and immunity), thyroid effects and other effects.” However, this latest study reportedly indicates that PFOA and PFOS can have negative effects at levels far below the EPA’s current health advisory level for exposure of 70 parts-per-trillion (ppt). The public should have access to the latest information about the risks these chemicals pose, which is why it is critical that this study is released without delay.   

It is unacceptable and irresponsible that release of this study has been blocked for five months out of fear that it would create a “potential public relations nightmare.” Families who have been exposed to emerging contaminants deserve to know about any potential health impacts that the contaminants may involve, and it is completely unacceptable that your agencies are withholding science-based information and failing to provide details to these families.

We are deeply troubled by the decision to withhold such an important study regarding a contaminant that has impacted Granite Staters and other states throughout the country. We urge you to immediately release this study for public review without further delay.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

 

CC: Patrick Breysse, PhD, CIH, Director, NCEH & ATSDR