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Toxic chemical 'PFAS' detected in one Camp Pendleton water system

water faucet
Posted at 5:45 PM, Apr 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-07 20:45:34-04

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (KGTV) — The water coming out of the tap for hundreds of Marines and families at Camp Pendleton contains high levels of PFAS.

It's a synthetic substance that is linked increase risk of developing serious health issues.

On February 14, a concentration level of 23.5 ppt was detected during the base's monthly testing only in its north water system.

It impacts families that live in San Onofre on-base Housing.

MCIWEST Water Quality Letter to Families.jpg

"I just think it kinda goes to show how marines are treated and their living conditions," said S.

S is a marine who we aren't showing or naming because she is still active duty.

She said she found out about the high levels of PFAS when a copy of this letter was posted on social media.

It's a synthetic substance that can be found in several of the products we use every day like food packaging and firefighting foams, according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The EPA's recent interim lifetime health advisory shows acceptable levels of PFAS throughout one's life range from .004 to .02 parts per trillion.

"I don't know if there is anything they could've done to prevent it, but how they handled it was not in a timely manner, which I think is super irresponsible and just clear neglect of the people living here and stationed here. If at the very least, they could've told everybody way faster than they did," said S.

Back in 2020, the Department of Defense began testing drinking water systems on base for PFAS, according to Camp Pendleton.

"It's concerning because people have babies and they didn't even release a letter until more than a month after they found out about it.

According to The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, PFAS can be measured in people's blood.

It says exposure to PFAS can have potential lasting impacts on our service members and their families:

  • A decreased immune response to vaccines for children
  • An increased risk of kidney cancer
  • An increased risk of testicular cancer
  • Alterations in liver enzymes

Camp Pendleton said to reduce PFAS, it's been installing new treatment methods and is working to install a pipeline that will blend drinking water.