Health officials request blood tests from east metro residents

Water flows
Perfluorochemicals have been found in the drinking supplies of Oakdale, Lake Elmo, and Cottage Grove.
Tim Post/MPR Photo

The Minnesota Department of Health hopes to recruit 200 adults in Oakdale, Lake Elmo, and Cottage Grove, to take blood tests for PFCs.

PFCs, or perfluorochemicals, have been found in the drinking supplies of those three communities. The chemicals have been used to make products that resist heat and stains.

Jean Johnson directs the Health Department's Environmental Health Tracking and Biomonitoring Program.

She said volunteers can compare their results to a national sample.

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"There is a national biomonitoring program, that's run by the CDC in Atlanta, so we'll be able to compare individual results as well as community results to that national average," Johnson said.

Most of the data on possible health effects of PFCs are from workers, who were exposed to more of the chemicals but show no apparent health effects, and from animals, where health effects have been shown.

The study is one of four pilot studies, mandated by the legislature in 2007. One focuses on arsenic, another will study mercury, and the fourth is undetermined.

After the Health Department shares its results, the legislature will decide whether to do more such bio-monitoring.