• Close up of kitchen faucet with a strong stream of water Close up of kitchen faucet with a strong stream of water

    The PFAS Multi-Site Health Study

The PFAS Multi-Site Health Study

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is studying the human health effects of exposure to drinking water contaminated with PFAS (Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances). PFAS are man-made chemicals that have been used in many industries around the world, including in the United States for many decades. ATSDR is funding researchers from seven different sites across the U.S. to see how PFAS impacts health. One of these sites includes two New York communities: the city of Newburgh and the village of Hoosick Falls.

Researchers at the University at Albany and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) received funding from ATSDR to study PFAS and its possible relationship to health among those exposed to PFAS-contaminated drinking water in Newburgh, New York and Hoosick Falls, New York. You can learn more about the funding awarded to UAlbany and the NYSDOH here

The University at Albany and the NYSDOH plan to enroll 1,000 adults and 300 children from both communities to evaluate their PFAS blood and urine levels, health measures like thyroid hormone levels and liver function, and medical history to better understand how PFAS may affect health. 

How did PFAS get into drinking water?

Newburgh: In 2013, the City of Newburgh identified PFOS contamination in Lake Washington, a public water supply site. Stewart Air National Guard Base nearby used fire-fighting foam that contained PFOS (a type of PFAS) and contaminated the lake. In 2016, the city switched to a safe alternate drinking water source. 

Hoosick Falls: In 2015, PFOA levels (PFOA is a type of PFAS) was detected in the Hoosick Falls public drinking water supply. The Saint Gobain Performance Plastics Manufacturing Plant used PFAS in their industrial practices, and this use contaminated water supplies in the area.

Is it okay to drink the water in Newburgh and Hoosick Falls?

Yes - your water is safe to drink!

Newburgh: The City of Newburgh water supply was transitioned to Brown's pond and then to the Catskill Aqueduct in 2016. Click here for more information. 

Hoosick Falls: New York State installed Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) filters for the public water supply in 2016. Click here for more information.

More information about the study:

Study timeline:

  1. Over the next few months, the University at Albany and the NYSDOH will frequently meet with community members to answer questions as we plan this study.
  2. The University at Albany and the NYSDOH will form a community advisory panel (CAP) in both communities. 
  3. In the spring of 2021, eligible residents will be invited to schedule a clinical visit and complete tests for the study.
  4. Participants will receive a report of their test results.
  5. University at Albany and NYSDOH staff will meet with community members and physicians to discuss the study results and answer questions about individual results.
What type of tests will the PFAS Multi-Site Health Study do?

Trained professionals from the community will:

  • Collect your blood and urine samples
  • Take your body and clinical measurements
  • Ask questions about your residential, drinking water usage, occupational, and medical history
  • Study behaviors in child participants

With your consent, staff will also collect information from your medical records and your child’s school records.

How are participants' results handled?

Research staff are careful to protect personal information. A unique participant ID will be used to conceal every participant’s identity.

How will results be used?

Participants' results as a whole will be used to inform public health specialists on how PFAS impacts health. In addition, each individual participant will receive their own testing results, enabling them to learn more about their own health. 

When will the results be available?

Participants will receive a letter with their blood PFAS and health test results.

What are some benefits of participating?

Participants will:

  • Help scientists understand how PFAS exposure may affect health
  • Receive their individual tests results
  • Receive up to $50 for adults and $75 for children for completing the entire study
Additional PFAS projects

PFAS Biomonitoring: The NYSDOH Biomonitoring program measured how much PFAS you have been exposed to and compared PFAS blood levels in the City of Newburgh and the village of Hoosick Falls to levels in the general population. If you would like to request a copy of your previous test results, please call NYSDOH at (518) 402-7950.


PFAS Exposure Assessment: The CDC and ATSDR are assessing the PFAS exposure in communities near current or former military installations. The exposure assessment will compare PFAS levels in blood and urine from the City of Newburgh to levels in the general population. The CDC and ATSDR will also identify and assess environmental factors that affect exposure. If you have any questions or concerns on the exposure assessment, contact Luis Rivera-Gonzalez, PHD, MS, ATSDR Division of Community Health Investigations Eastern Branch, 732-906-6933, lqx8@cdc.gov.

Community Presentations
Community Presentations in English
Community Presentations in English
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Presentaciones expuestas a las comunidades en español
Presentaciones expuestas a las comunidades en español
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The PFAS Multi-Site Health Study
George Education Center Room 254

1 University Place
Rensselaer, NY 12144
United States