New Mexico Health Officials Warning of Water Concerns Near Cannon AFB

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If you live within four miles of the southeast corner of Cannon Air Force Base and use a private well, New Mexico health officials are recommending you use bottled water. 

Chemicals, known as PFAS, associated with fire-fighting foams used at Cannon Air Force Base have been detected in groundwater on and off base, that according to a joint release from the New Mexico Environment Department, New Mexico Department of Health, and the New Mexico Department of Agriculture.

PFAS are chemicals that may be associated with an increased risk of cancer and other health issues.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has set a lifetime drinking
water Human Health Advisory for two PFAS chemicals at 70 nanograms per liter (ng/L), or parts per trillion. 

On base, the United States Air Force said PFAS have been detected at concentrations exceeding 26,000 ng/L. USAF reported detections in off-base wells with concentrations ranging from 25 to 1,600 ng/L.

Officials said PFAS were detected in 19 off-base wells so far, some providing drinking water to local dairies.

The USAF said they have informed affected residents of the test results and is providing bottled water for drinking and cooking for wells that exceed the 70 ng/L.

The agencies said until further testing confirms an “all clear,” the use of bottled water for those residents and businesses with private domestic wells within a four-mile radius of the base property boundary is recommended.

Residents are encouraged to call the NMDOH Epidemiology and Response Division’s call line at (505) 827-0006 for a consultation about the results of their well water test, or for information about how to get their well water tested. 

To learn more about PFAS and potential effects on people’s health, download the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fact sheet at: https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfas/docs/pfas_fact_sheet.pdf

See the full release here.

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