WARNING: Do not eat chicken eggs from Svennson Heights
WARNING: Do not eat chicken eggs from Svennson Heights Donna Gibbs

WATER WARNING: Bundy residents warned don't eat veg and eggs

THE Queensland Government has released guidelines for people living in Svensson Heights who have been drinking or were exposed to PFAS contaminated water.

Warnings include the use of swimming pools, eating home-grown fruit and vegetables or eggs and the use of private bores.

The precautions advise the community not to eat eggs from chickens that were supplied with the tap water before last Wednesday, April 11 when the bore was taken off line.

"If you have domestic poultry supplied with tap water prior 11 April 2018, wait one month before consuming the eggs," the guideline read.

"It is advisable to not eat home-grown fruit and vegetables that have been irrigated with the tap water supplied before 11 April 2018."

If you have a private bore in the area west of the railway line and north of the airport, information will be available in the near future on the extent of the PFAS contamination in the groundwater.

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Residents with home bores are advised to avoid the use of water for showering/bathing, sprinkler play by children or to fill swimming pools or paddling pools due to the possibility of unintentionally drinking the water.

These warnings are for all residents living in the area bounded by Takalvan Street, Walker Street, Saltwater Creek and a couple of blocks on the airport side (south) of Dr Mays Road.

The water supply was found to have PFOS and PFHxS above the draft Australian Drinking Water Guideline value as advised by council on Friday.

The time it takes for PFAS to be excreted from the body is the same for adults and children.

In humans, studies suggest that the half-life of PFAS could range from two to nine years.

 

It is safe to continue to use the drinking water supplied by council.

Anyone concerned about their own health or that of family members should talk to their GP or call 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84).

The effects of PFAS

The potential effects of exposure to PFAS to human health continue to be studied.

These studies involve laboratory animal studies, as well as occupationally exposed workers (i.e. manufacturing workers), residents in communities with higher exposure and studies of the general population in the USA and other countries.

Adverse health effects have been demonstrated in animal studies, but at much higher exposure levels than are found in people.

However, the results of these animal studies and how they apply to humans is not always clear.

Much of the research on humans has been done with people who were exposed to relatively high levels of PFAS through their work.

Workers involved in the manufacture or use of PFAS usually have higher blood PFAS levels than the general public.

Studies on PFAS workers have looked for effects on cholesterol levels,male hormones, heart disease, liver changes and other effects, including cancer.

These studies have not consistently shown that PFAS exposure is linked to health problems.

Whether PFAS cause health problems in humans is currently unknown, but on current evidence the potential for adverse health effects cannot be excluded.

Also, because the elimination of PFAS from the human body is slow, there is a risk that continued exposure to PFAS could result in adverse health effects due to accumulation of the chemicals in the body over time.

As a precaution, people living in or near an area that has been identified as having been contaminated with PFAS should take steps to limit their exposure to these chemicals.

What is the evidence telling us so far?

A number of health conditions have been highlighted for further research based on the evidence so far.

These conditions have been mentioned by international health agencies as being possibly linked to PFAS exposure.

The following questions provide a brief explanation of the evidence available on some of these health conditions.

Does PFAS exposure affect cholesterol levels?

A number of studies show a possible link between PFAS exposure and increased blood cholesterol.

Because of the design of the studies, it can't be determined if PFAS causes the increased blood cholesterol changes or

if other factors are involved, such as diet.

Does PFAS exposure cause cancer?

There is no conclusive evidence that exposure to PFAS causes cancer in humans.

Some studies have shown a possible link between prostate, kidney, and testicular cancers in workers involved in the manufacture of PFAS.

In these studies other potential cancer-causing factors such as smoking were not considered.

There are also some studies that have not shown a link between cancers and PFAS exposure.

Studies in rats have shown an increase in some types of thyroid cancer. The results are inconsistent, as rates of cancer only increased with one level of exposure.

Higher and lower levels of exposure did not increase cancer in the rats.

Does PFAS exposure affect the immune system?

Some studies in animals show that immune problems may be associated with PFAS exposure.

Other studies show that there isn't an effect. Some organisations are saying that PFAS is presumed to be an immune hazard to humans based on these animal studies.

In studies that do show an effect on the immune system in certain people, there is no evidence that these people get more infections.

One study has shown that there is a possible link between PFAS and ulcerative colitis, but no other autoimmune disease.

The evidence so far does not show any link between PFAS and autoimmune problems.

Does PFAS exposure cause problems during pregnancy?

There is currently no consistent evidence that exposure to PFAS causes poor outcomes in pregnant women or their babies.

There are some studies that show a lower birth weight in babies born to mothers with higher levels of PFAS in their blood.

Because of the design of these studies, it is not possible to know if PFAS causes this change or if other factors are involved.

There are also some studies that have not shown a link between a lower birth weight and PFAS exposure during pregnancy.

How can I reduce my exposure to PFAS?

PFOS and PFOA are being withdrawn from service at commercial and industrial premises, and similar products are being phased out and replaced with more sustainable alternatives.

However, PFAS chemicals may be present in the environment due to historic use or release from pre-treated articles imported into Australia.

The available data from the 24th Australian Total Diet Survey suggests that dietary exposure to PFAS from the general food supply is likely to be low as the majority of samples in studies reported in Australia and

elsewhere did not detect these chemicals in testing.

It takes a very long time for levels of these chemicals to reduce in humans, with the levels of some people taking two to nine years to reduce by half if there is no ongoing exposure.

This means that levels in the blood now may reflect exposure from years ago, not necessarily recent exposure. For these reasons, it is considered that there is no value in frequent blood monitoring.

Anyone concerned about their own health or that of family members should talk to their GP or call 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84).



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