Health officials ask for blood samples after water toxin discovery

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WESTHAMPTON -

The state Department of Health has sent letters to 800 homes in Westhampton and Quogue asking residents to participate in a study that will test their blood for toxins found in private water wells near Gabreski Airport.

The source of that contamination is believed to stem from firefighting foam that was used for fire training at the airport. News 12 reported in 2016 that the Suffolk County Health Department found that perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, or PFOS, and per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, were found in eight of the 41 water wells they tested.

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State health officials told News 12 that this test is only targeting residents who have only had public water. Those who previously had private well water are part of a separate study.

Currently, all residents in Westhampton and Quogue are connected to public water.

According to the letter, participation in the “exposure assessment” is voluntary. The results will be mailed back to participants in roughly four to six weeks.

Each participant will also receive a $50 gift card.

Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming (D-Noyack) says the community needs more answers.

“I'm not a scientist. We rely on the experts at the [Environmental Protection Agency] and the Department of Health. They need to move more quickly on this."

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