CDC to use Airway Heights residents to test dangers of PFAS exposure

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has selected Airway Heights as one of eight communities across the country to take part in a study to determine the effects of being exposed to polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS.

PFAS is one of the chemicals that was found in the city’s water supply in May of 2017, prompting a weeks-long crisis for those who live there. The chemicals, which are used in fire extinguishing foam, are believed to have seeped into groundwater from a fire training site on the eastern edge of Fairchild Airforce Base.

Airway Heights’ water supply has since been switched over to the City of Spokane’s system, so residents are no longer using the contaminated wells.

Beginning later this year, the CDC will randomly select people in the community to volunteer to participate in exposure assessments. Levels of PFAS will be checked through urine and blood sampling.

Airway Heights Mayor Kevin Richey said Friday, “We are pleased our community has been chosen for this important assessment. The health and safety of our citizens is our number one priority.”

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