News release: Results of survey of East Metro residents’ exposures to PFCs to be presented at public meeting May 15

News Release
May 7, 2013

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Results of survey of East Metro residents’ exposures to PFCs to be presented at public meeting May 15

Analysis confirms drinking water was major source for most residents

The Minnesota Department of Health will present results from the survey analysis portion of the East Metro Perfluorochemicals (PFC) Biomonitoring Follow-up Project at a community meeting from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 15 at the Skyview School, 1100 Heron Ave. N. in Oakdale, MN 55128.

The first East Metro PFC Biomonitoring Project in 2008 looked at the levels of PFCs in the blood of 196 adults in the Washington County communities of Oakdale, Lake Elmo and Cottage Grove. Those communities were known to have had PFCs in their drinking water as the result of groundwater contamination. A follow-up study in 2010-11 measured the levels of PFCs in the blood of 164 of the same participants to see if the levels declined. The follow-up project also asked participants to complete a survey designed to gather information about a full range of their possible exposures to PFCs. The analysis of the survey was completed recently and details of the analysis will be shared at the meeting.  

MDH staff will give presentations from 7-8 p.m. on the follow-up project results, along with updates on water testing for PFCs in the East Metro and the MDH study of PFCs in home-grown produce. An open house providing an opportunity for one-on-one questions will be held from 6:30-7 and 8-8:30 p.m.

Highlights of the findings that will be presented at the meeting include:

  • Participants who drank unfiltered water for more years had higher PFC blood levels. Also, the more water a person drank, the higher their PFC levels were. These results confirm that drinking water was a major source of exposure in East Metro communities and that efforts to reduce this exposure were key in bringing down blood levels between 2008-2010.
  • Monitoring of PFC levels in drinking water continues; concentrations generally are stable or declining.
  • For the most part, diet, including homegrown produce, and use of various consumer products were not linked to higher PFC levels. MDH did find that people who had new carpeting installed in their home in the last year had higher levels of three PFCs, but this finding needs to be studied further.

For more information on the project, go to:

Media inquiries:

Doug Schultz
MDH Communications