Airway Heights residents asked to participate in water exposure study

In an informational meeting on Thursday, Airway Heights residents learned about the part they can play in a study on exposure to per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

It’s been over two years since people in Airway Heights learned their drinking water was contaminated.

That’s when experts found PFAS in the water supply, prompting a water crisis in the area.

READ: Meeting about Airway Heights drinking water exposure assessment set for Thursday

Though city water was declared safe a month after the chemicals were detected, community members have since wondered how their lives have been affected by the exposure.

“It’s made an impact on literally every area of our lives just in the unknown,” said Julie Dibble, whose private well tested positive for PFAS.

In Thursday night’s meeting, the CDC’s agency for toxic substances asked dozens of Airway Heights residents to participate in a study.

The study would analyze levels of PFAS in people’s bodies through collected blood and urine samples. Those samples would then be compared to the general population.

According to the CDC, people are considered to be at risk when levels in water exceed 70 parts per trillion. During the contamination, some wells around Airway Heights had 57,000 parts per trillion.

Exposure to PFAS could affect growth, learning and behavior in infants and young children, as well as lower a woman’s chance of getting pregnant, the CDC said.

While the exposure assessment study doesn’t specifically look at health problems caused by PFAS, it will give officials information on how to prevent exposure in the future.

If you live between Craig and Hayford Road, you may be getting a letter in the mail within the next few weeks, inviting you to participate in the study.