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Chemicals in water pose significant health risks

Chemicals in contaminated water pose...

AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. - The Airway Heights water contamination is inconvenient for so many, but it also poses significant health risks.

On day 3 of the water crisis, people were still lining up to get bottled water in Airway Heights.

Some were concerned that they've been drinking this water for decades. And restaurants are concerned too.

The Panda Express is taking every precaution, only serving menu items that are made without water like Chow Mein, Orange Chicken, and Beijing Beef.

“Because of the water contamination here in Airway Heights, we are limited to what we can cook because we cannot cook with the water,” said Kayla Lhomme, Assistant Manager Panda Express.

They're even sending team members to Spokane to wash and cut vegetables.

This is all to avoid water contaminated with chemicals called PFOS and PFOAS because of health concerns.

Dr. Andrew Dill with the Airway Heights Rockwood Clinic says some of the concerns associated with these chemicals are gout, thyroid effects, liver damage, and developmental effects to fetuses during pregnancy.

But, according to research by the EPA, it would take decades of exposure to feel any effect.

“The two wells tested, there was a 12 fold and 17 fold increase according to the EPA limit, which is based on a 70 year lifespan exposure risk,” said Dill.

Still, with the city unable to answer how long the water has been contaminated, people in Airway Heights aren't taking any chances.

It's important to note that you're only exposed to these chemicals by drinking the water, so showering and washing your clothes is still safe.

If you need water and can't make it out here to Yoke's, the Red Cross will bring you some, just call 211.
 


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