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CDC looks for Moose Creek Residents to participate in PFAS Study

Published: Jul. 17, 2020 at 1:48 PM AKDT|Updated: Jul. 17, 2020 at 3:00 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) -

Moose Creek residents are being asked to participate in an exposure assessment to test the levels of Per- or Polyfluoroalkyl Substances, also referred to as PFAS, in their bodies. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) held an information session on Thursday night to provide the community of Moose Creek with more information on the study.

“I thought it went very well, we had over forty attendees from the community and we are starting our recruitment efforts this weekend in Moose Creek,” said Rhonda Kaetzel, regional director with the CDC ATSDR.

This weekend there will be outdoor community sessions from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday July 17 in front of the Moose Creek General Store and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Moose Creek Baptist Church.

To be eligible to participate in the study:

-Residents must have lived in Moose Creek for at least one year before December 28, 2017

-Be three years of age or older

-Do not have a bleeding disorder and are not anemic

This assessment in Moose Creek was supposed to occur early this spring, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was postponed.

“We’ve been coming up with plans on how we are going to change the activities to make sure that we keep everyone safe, both residents in Moose Creek, the community in Fairbanks, and our staff that will be traveling,” said Lieutenant Brad Goodwin with U.S. Public Health Service, who is the lead for ATSDR’s exposure assessment work.

One of the changes they have made is holding the information session on Thursday night virtually, instead of an in person meeting. This weekend, they will be going door to door in Moose Creek recruiting participants and Goodwin says they will be wearing masks and gloves, and maintain social distancing.

The group conducting the assessment will be in Moose Creek from August 18 to August 25 collecting samples from residents.

“When we schedule people for samples, we’re going to ask that they wear a mask to that appointment. If they don’t have a mask, we’ll provide one for them. But to let anyone come in to the fire house where we are collecting samples, we’re going to do a symptom screening ahead of time, we’re going to require wearing of a mask, all of our staff will be wearing masks as well, we’ll be checking ourselves for symptoms and temperature twice a day,” said Goodwin.

They also have moved the questionnaire portion of the study to be over the phone to minimize in person contact.

“We want participation in this study so that we can speak to the whole community about the exposures that are occurring there and how they compare to CDC’s national health and nutrition examination survey which has been collecting PFAS data in blood since 1999,” said Kaetzel.

The exposure assessments are being conducted at several sites across the country.

“We’re doing this work in communities that are known to have had PFAS in their water. What we are doing is an exposure assessment, so we are looking at how much of these PFAS chemicals are in people’s bodies now. It’s not a health study, we’re not going to be able to tell people whether there are going to be any health effects, if they’re going to get sick from the PFAS but it will tell them how much of the PFAS in their body,” said Goodwin.

Residents who are interested in participating or want more information can reach out to the group at PFAS@cdc.gov.

Copyright 2020 KTVF. All rights reserved.

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