AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. – Several city and health officials were at the water distribution site in Airway Heights, Wash., Thursday evening to answer any questions residents might have.

KREM 2 spoke with Environmental Specialist Mike LaScuola about the long term health effects the PFOS and PFOA chemicals could have. LaScuola explained if a person is exposed to the chemical compounds for a long period of time, the person could potentially experience the following health effects:

  • Increased cholesterol
  • Immune system changes
  • Decreased fertility
  • Altered thyroid function
  • Increased risk of certain types of cancer
  • Changes in the growth and development of a child or a developing fetus

While exposure to these chemicals is not fatal, LaScuola said affected residents should meet with their doctor.

“Normally, most are taken care of in routine physicals. There may be some specific items the physician may want to illustrate based on their research and knowledge, and of course their patient and the patient’s health,” said LaScuola.

As for animals exposed to the chemicals, studies show they could experience developmental and reproductive changes, liver effects and increased rates of cancer.

For those wondering if you should get your blood tests, the Health District said test results will not provide clear answers for existing or possible health effects.