PFOA Water Contamination in Merrimack

Elevated levels of PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) have been found in wells that provide drinking water to the Merrimack Village District. State epidemiologist, Dr. Ben Chan, recently said state officials will work directly with homeowners whose well water is above 100ppt of PFOA to provide blood tests for exposure. Dr. Chan recently assured a tense and nervous standing-room-only crowd in Merrimack that only two families in the area have received level of exposure. However, such reassurances have done little to quell the fear felt by families in this small New Hampshire community.

What is PFOA?

PFOA is a synthetic perfluorinated carboxylic acid and fluorosurfactant. While it has many industrial uses, it’s most common uses for consumers are as Teflon or in microwave popcorn bags, stain-resistant carpeting, and carpet cleaning liquids. Known as both a toxicant and carcinogen in animals, PFOA persists indefinitely in the environment and the human body – and is found in small parts in 98% of the U.S. population.

In laboratory tests on animals, PFOA has been shown to cause cancerous tumors in:

  • The liver
  • The testicles
  • The mammary glands
  • The pancreas

If you have been exposed to PFOA and have been diagnosed with one of these cancers, you may have cause to file suit – even if the development of your cancer came years after initial exposure.


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