HARRISBURG- Reps. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery), Meghan Schroeder (R-Bucks) and Todd Polinchock (R-Bucks) announced that money to fund Temple University’s study into the links between PFAS contamination and cancer has been included in the just-passed state budget for the 2021-22 term.
“I’m happy the governor and General Assembly agreed with us that funding the Temple University study is critical into understanding the long-term consequences of ingesting PFAS,” Stephens said.
In a Jan. 21 letter to Gov. Tom Wolf, Stephens, Schroeder and Polinchock requested $1.6 million for Temple University to research any links between PFAS contamination and cancer. The money was included in the budget passed this weekend.
For years residents in the communities surrounding the former Willow Grove Naval Air Station in Horsham and the former Naval Air Development Center in Warminster were drinking water contaminated with PFAS – chemicals contained in firefighting foam the military used. These chemicals have been linked to many illnesses, including cancer.
“Communities all across the Commonwealth want greater certainty about the impact of this insidious chemical on their health,” Schroeder said. “The funds included in the new budget will go a long way to accomplishing that.”
A preliminary cancer review study conducted by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) found statistically significant increases in certain cancers in these communities.
“It was clear to us that the study warranted deeper examination,” Polinchock said. “Yet, while the Pennsylvania Department of Health is conducting the study, the federal government has excluded cancer from this multi-state health study. Fortunately, Dr. Resa M. Jones, from Temple University School of Public Health, has agreed to complete the missing cancer component of the health study and work with the PA DOH.”
It will cost more than $1.6 million to complete her work.
“We are overjoyed by this announcement,” said Joanne Stanton, Co-Founder of Buxmont Coalition for Safer Water. “We cannot thank Representatives Stephens, Polinchock and Schroeder enough for their advocacy and extra efforts on behalf of our community to make sure this vital cancer research gets funded. Rep Stephens has always been a key supporter in our local PFAS water contamination and a true champion of the people.”
Representative Todd Stephens
Representative Meghan Schroeder
29th Legislative District
Representative Todd Polinchock
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: David Foster