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PFC exposure higher in east metro, study confirms

East metro residents who were tested had higher levels of perfluorochemicals in their bodies than the national average, according to a press release from the Minnesota Department of Health.

Residents with private wells from Cottage Grove and Lake Elmo and municipal-water-drinkers from Oakdale participated in the study conducted by the Minnesota Department of Health.

To be eligible for the study, Cottage Grove residents had to have at least trace levels of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) in their wells, according to the press release. One-hundred and ninety-six residents had their blood tested for the study.

The study, a biomonitoring pilot project, was mandated by the Minnesota Legislature after the discovery of perfluorochemicals in drinking water in the east metro.

A Minnesota Department of Health advisory panel recommended doing a similar test in a few years to confirm that a similar study be conducted in a few years to see whether the levels of the chemicals are coming down now that the residents' tested now use filtered water, said Jean Johnson, environmental health tracking and biomonitoring program director with the health department. As of now there is no plan or funding to conduct a second study, Johnson said.

Perfluorochemicals (PFCs) are commonly found at low levels in the country's general population from sources such as food and consumer products, according to the press release.

The results of the study will be presented at a public meeting from 6 to 9 p.m. July 22 at Cottage Grove City hall, located at 7516 80th Street South. The meeting will start with an open house from 6 to 7 p.m., followed by a presentation and question and answer session from 7 to 8 p.m. and concluding with an open house from 8 to 9 p.m.