Thursday 25 February 2021
Select a region
News

No official research into health effects of banned chemical in island's water

No official research into health effects of banned chemical in island's water

Wednesday 20 January 2021

No official research into health effects of banned chemical in island's water


The Government appears not to have carried out any research to identify whether islanders have become ill through drinking contaminated water – despite being presented with evidence of unusual levels of cancer, thyroid problems and kidney disease.

Asked in the States Assembly on Tuesday by Deputy Kirsten Morel if studies had been carried out to identify if there had been any illnesses relating to ‘PFAS’, Environment Minister John Young said he didn’t know of any.

However, he added that he had overseen the publication of two reports, which included advice from the Medical Officer of Health, which is for people who feel that they may have been affected to visit their GP.

“It is a sad fact that our environment is contaminated in all sorts of ways,’ he said. “And what one does in environmental regulation is to set in place rules to regulate the levels of those contaminates and have efficient monitoring in place. 

Sarah_Simon1.JPG

Pictured: Sarah Simon, who lives in St. Ouen’s Bay under the western end of the Airport runway, is campaigning for an independent committee of inquiry into PFAS.

“Sadly, in the case of PFAS, it is a ubiquitous material in the world and experts in much larger countries have concluded that it can’t be eliminated. However, we are trying to remediate and get those levels down.”

Sarah Simon – who has tested her own blood to show that it contains dangerous levels of PFAS – said she was “shocked and saddened” to hear that the Government had failed to find out if Islanders had been affected.

“Since my own health started to suffer and I discovered that dozens of people have suffered similar problems, many living close to the Airport, I have carried out my own research, including sending more that 25 Islanders’ blood for testing, and sent it to the Medical Officer of Health.

“Just in the community around where I live, there has been an unusually high incidence of illnesses that are associated with PFAS poisoning, such as liver and bladder cancer, thyroid problems and kidney stones in people of all ages, and even our pets.

“The evidence is overwhelming and yet the Government has failed to do anything about it. If they haven’t done any research, then maybe they should start.”

The issue of PFAS – a family of man-made chemicals which were added to hundreds of everyday items until they were found to be harmful to health – has been an ongoing but unresolved saga in Jersey for decades.

Miss Simon strongly believes that the health of Islanders has been affected, particularly those, like her, living close to the Airport – where firefighting foam containing one of the PFAS family, called PFOS, was sprayed until it was banned in the early 90s.

Miss Simon said: “The Government has known that PFOS pollution in ground water has taken place on this island since 1980. Every year, new scientific information emerges, and regulations evolve. One has to ask, why has the Government blatantly held on to outdated legislation regarding this matter?

st_ouens_bay.jpg

Pictured: A large area of St. Ouen’s Bay is contaminated with a manmade chemical that was sprayed at the Airport in the early 90s. 

“In Deputy Young’s PFAS reports, there are no recommendations to conduct a health study despite research in the US that proves that PFOA, another form of PFAS, causes high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, testicular cancer, kidney cancer, and pregnancy-induced hypertension. 

“The Government has also publicly stated that there is no proof that PFOS causes disease; but surely with the knowledge available it should be looking to mitigate long-term risk at the very least.”

Miss Simon is calling for an independent public inquiry to discover the extent of PFAS poisoning in Jersey and whether further medical care is required.

Despite not testing people, the Government has tested water supplies, including boreholes and streams, and high levels of PFAS have been found, particularly in St Ouen's Bay and in the Pont Marquet area of St. Brelade.

So high is the contamination that Jersey Water is unable to fill its reservoirs from boreholes in these areas. They maintain, however, that mains water is safe to drink and meets the highest international standards of cleanliness.

READ MORE...

Islander tests own blood in bid to prove chemical contamination

PFOS campaigner backs calls for water contamination inquiry

Jersey Water calls for St. Ouen’s Bay pollution test

Government rejects chemical poisoning inquiry calls

Dark Waters lawyer backs pollution campaigner

“I’ve already been poisoned...the Government needs to act to protect future generations”

Gov response to PFOS "nonsense and insulting"

Government "in denial" over chemical pollution of water

FOCUS: What has happened to Ministers' support on PFOS

Airport still used toxic firefighting foam up to this year

Latest PFOS report branded "a farce" by campaigner

"PFOS has made me ill - and I don't live in St. Ouen's Bay"

PFOS poisoning: "Getting to the truth is vitally important"

Sign up to newsletter

 

Comments

Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.

Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.

Posted by Nick Palmer on
Just a friendly warning to all those who like to 'do their own research', particularly if they do it it on the Internet. Just because you have found what appears to be a scientific paper which supports, or is purported to support, the opinions you have does not necessarily mean that you have found credible evidence to support those opinions.

Firstly, if you've found links to such papers on a 'health' type website, be aware that many such websites misinterpret or misrepresent the findings of the paper, sometimes because they don't fully understand what the scientific language is actually saying - so they put a 'common sense' interpretation on it (which is often wrong or distorted) - and sometimes because they are after your money by trying to sell you some natural remedy or detox potion.

The former case applies to genuine scientific papers which have passed peer review, have been published in reputable journals, and are not seen as contentious because they don't contradict the great mass of other similar work in the area. Be very aware that out there there are plenty of what's called 'predatory journals' which accept money to publish poor quality science that has been rejected by all the credible journals for bad methodology, dodgy evindce gathering, inadequate controls etc etc. These journals often have seemingly 'important' titles which give them a spurious gravitas. The papers found in these journals are usually those of the bad scientists, the politically motivated and the Galileo wannabe crackpots whose monumental egos can never accept that the ideas they're so convinced about and have been working on for a long time are seen as not credible (or flat out wrong) by the vast majority of those qualified experts in the same field who know what they're talking about.
Posted by Martin J on
I wonder if the SEVENTEEN THOUSAND TONNES of Nuclear waste dumped into Hurd,s deep off Alderney in the 1970,s has contributed to this!

If you do not believe this then google t!
To place a comment please login

You have landed on the Bailiwick Express website, however it appears you are based in . Would you like to stay on the site, or visit the site?