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NH Delegation Letter Calls for Focus on Potential Connection of PFAS Exposure and Pediatric Cancer

(Manchester, NH)—Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Congresswomen Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) and Annie Kuster (NH-02), sent a letter to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) calling on the federal agency to focus research efforts on the potential connection between per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) exposure and pediatric cancer. Their letter follows a Senate Committee hearing in September in which the Director of NIEHS, Linda Birnbaum, testified that the agency had yet to investigate potential links between pediatric cancer and exposure to PFAS. A report released in June from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicated that between 2003 and 2014, New Hampshire had the highest pediatric cancer rate in the country—with 205 pediatric cancer cases per 1,000,000 in the population.

The Delegation’s letter reads in part, “we request that NIEHS ensure that studies investigating the negative associations between pediatric PFAS exposure and immune function include a focus on the chemicals’ connection with pediatric cancer. We also urge you to explore whether variations in pediatric cancers found in New Hampshire are tied to PFAS…”

The letter continues, “New Hampshire parents are extremely concerned about what exposure to PFAS chemicals means for the health and safety of their children. As this administration moves forward with the nationwide health study on PFAS, we urge NIEHS to work with relevant environmental and health agencies to determine whether environmental contamination from this family of chemicals is a contributing factor to incidences of pediatric cancer found in New Hampshire and across the nation.”

This letter can be read in full here.