New York State Multi-site PFAS Health Study

Two New York communities were chosen as part of the first national study to look at exposures to PFAS from drinking water. What we learn by working with other researchers nationwide will benefit all communities across New York State and the U.S.

Get more details and keep up with the status of the project by visiting the University at Albany’s School of Public Health’s webpage.

View and print the New York State Multi-site PFAS Health Study flyer.

About the Study

The Multi-site PFAS Health Study includes people from the Hoosick Falls Area and the City of Newburgh. Researchers will look closely at the role PFAS may play in various health outcomes by analyzing results from blood tests, health-related lab tests, and medical and exposure histories.

Additional Multi-site PFAS Health Study communities are located in California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

DOH, in partnership with the University at Albany’s School of Public Health is participating in a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) five-year, Multi-site PFAS Health Study, which is the first study to look at relationships between exposure to PFAS from drinking water and certain health outcomes in multiple communities nationwide.

Multi-site PFAS Health Study Goals

This study will help scientists learn more about PFAS and human health effects including:

  • Increased cholesterol levels
  • Changes in liver enzymes
  • Decreased vaccine response in children
  • Behavioral and developmental outcomes in children
  • Increased risk of high blood pressure or preeclampsia in pregnant women
  • Small decreases in infant birth weights

What We Will Measure

People living in the Hoosick Falls Area or in the City of Newburgh may be invited to take part in the national Multi-site PFAS Health Study. About 1,000 adults and 300 children from these communities will be randomly selected to join the study. With participant’s permission, trained health professionals will:

  • Collect and test blood and urine samples
  • Take body measurements
  • Ask about medical and exposure history
  • Study development in child participants

We will collect information about PFAS levels and health to learn more about participant’s immune systems, kidney, liver, and thyroid functions. We will collect data about cholesterol levels and ask about some diseases like diabetes. Researchers will also collect information about cancers, but the size of the study is not large enough to effectively evaluate the relationship between PFAS exposure and cancer.

New York State researchers have added two additional projects to New York’s Multi-site PFAS Health Study.

Measuring People’s Blood for Metal Levels

We will explore if certain metals (lead, mercury, manganese, and cadmium) combined with PFAS exposure are related to developmental outcomes in children and neurological outcomes in adults. Everyone who participates in the Multi-site PFAS Health Study will be included in this effort.

Measuring Past Levels of PFAS from Newborn Screening Data

We may ask permission to access newborn screening samples already on file to test them for PFAS exposure. These may be requested from 400 participants born in New York between 1998 and 2018 to mothers who lived in the Hoosick Falls Area or in Newburgh during this time frame. This information can help estimate people’s PFAS exposures over their lifetime, including the birth mother’s exposure leading up to and during pregnancy. These data may also help to establish a timeline on how PFAS exposures from drinking water have changed over time. Learn more.

All personal information collected as part of the Multi-site PFAS Health Study will be collected with permission of participants and be kept private and secure.

Participants may choose to complete all or parts of the Multi-site PFAS Health Study. Those who complete the entire study may receive up to $75 in gift cards, as well as their individual test results and all final reports.

COVID-19 Safety

COVID-19 safety precautions will ensure that study staff, participants, and members of the public are protected from COVID-19 during all aspects of the study. Research activities will occur pending approval by the DOH evaluation of COVID-19 infection rates. A monitoring plan to examine COVID-19 metrics on at least a weekly basis will be implemented and all appropriate New York State COVID-related guidance will be followed.

Community Engagement and Participation

Community Assistance Panels (CAPs) have been established in the Hoosick Falls Area and City of Newburgh to help promote communications, share community health and environmental concerns, and encourage community participation. To participate on the CAPs, individuals should be at least 18 years of age, from Newburgh or the Hoosick Falls Area, and agree to represent concerns of residents’ various viewpoints. The CAPs will meet 3-4 times a year and all CAP meetings will be open to the public.

Learn More