Jul 30, 2015 3:11 PM
Workers comp filed by Portsmouth firefighters following contaminated consumption
PORTSMOUTH - An increasing number of Port City firefighters are filing workers comp claims after tests showed "elevated levels" of chemicals in their blood.
“Any employee that’s worked out there, or done a rotation, has showered – drank water – they live there 24 hours a day," said Chief Stephen Achilles. "So what we want to make sure is that if there’s an exposure, which we have been seeing some elevated levels with some of our employees, that they submit a claim to make sure its documented.”
The chemicals stem from a contaminated water well, the Haven Well, that was previously connected to the city's water system. It was the city's most productive well until it was shut down due to the contamination last year.
“We don’t know where this will go, but we want to make sure it’s documented incase something happens, Achilles said. "Two, three, five years down the road or ten years down the road – that city employees are protected.”
Previous testing results of people who lived near the contaminated well showed they had slightly higher levels of perfluorochemicals in their blood.
The city has continued to search for a new well to replace the Haven.