“Residents are being provided bottled water by the Navy, but warned not to drink, cook or water their vegetable gardens,” Andrews told Truthout. “The Navy says, ‘Don’t worry about showering,’ but research has shown that these chemicals are transmitted through dermal absorption. Homes valued at over $1 million are unsalable, and people are trapped.”
The chemicals, Perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS) and Perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHpA), are perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), also called PFCs, and come from the AFFF firefighting foam used in training exercises at the Navy’s Outlying Landing Field (OLF) in Coupeville and Ault Field in Oak Harbor, the latter of which is at Naval Air Station Whidbey.
“They were found in the aquifer beneath the OLF airstrip in October of 2016 and are known to have migrated off-site to contaminate public and private drinking water,” Rick Abraham, who has worked on toxic pollution issues as a public interest advocate for 30 years, told Truthout.