Red Zone residents who have been exposed to PFAS contamination are invited to participate in a study that seeks to gain a better understand how PFAS blood levels change over time.
The University of Queensland project aims to determine how effective efforts to control exposure to per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances have been in Williamtown, Oakey and Katherine and why some people's PFAS blood levels reduce faster than others.
"Where we find this is not the case, we want to identify whether there are ongoing sources of exposure and control them," he said.
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People who have previously had their blood collected and analysed for PFAS and have elevated concentrations in their blood are invited to take part.
Participants will be asked to provide one blood sample in 2021 and another in 2023 to measure changes in the concentration of PFAS in the blood over time.
Professor Kelly Fielding said there would be real benefits for the people who join the study as well as to the Australian and international communities.
"The research can tell us what exposure control measures work, which would be a real help to anyone in Australia who has been exposed to high levels of PFAS," she said.
PFAS are manufactured chemicals that are commonly detected in the blood of many people in the general community from food, water, dust and everyday products.
Some communities in Australia have previously been exposed to higher levels of PFAS due to contamination in the environment.
The new study is one of several projects funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council.
NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean called on the federal government to take greater responsibility for the pollution that it caused through the use of toxic firefighting foam at the Williamtown RAAF base.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison defended the Commonwealth's response during a visit to the Hunter.
"We're the first government to actually go to the step that so many others haven't over a long period of time in getting to the settlement that we have," he said.
"We're going to continue working through that process and delivering on those commitments...There also continues to be an enormous amount of scientific work that is being done around this."
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