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Aug 21, 2015 4:45 PM

Girl has 'high levels' of chemicals in blood after drinking contaminated water at Pease Tradeport


NORTH HAMPTON - When Chelsi Christensen found out that the water coming into her daughter's daycare was contaminated, she was terrified.

“All of the children there, they eat the food that’s cooked in the water," she explained.

The water's source was the City of Portsmouth's Haven Well.

The well, which was tested by health officials last year, showed levels of perfluorochemicals (PFCs) that were 10 times higher than the safe levels recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency.

“The things it’s done are scary – such as liver cancer, bladder cancer," Christensen said.

Her daughter, 5-year-old Madelynn, has attended the Great Bay Kids' Company for about four years.

When Christensen found out the daycare's water supply came from the city's contaminated well, she became extremely concerned and decided to bring her daughter for a blood test following recommendations from the state health department.

“It was just a catastrophe when this happened; to be told that our children have been consuming this highly toxic water," she said.

Hundreds of others who had consumed the water for years were also tested. Results showed nearly 100 people had higher-than-average levels of PFCs in their bloodstream.

“It’s terrifying because I don’t know what this means for her future," said Christensen. “It’s the unknown that’s really scary.”

Officials think firefighting foam that was used at the former Pease Air Force Base is the cause of the contamination.

Representatives from the Air Force are meeting with Portsmouth's Community Advisory Board next week.


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