Sen. Dave Hansen urging free blood tests for people affected by contaminated water

Published: Jan. 13, 2020 at 10:00 PM CST
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State Senator Dave Hansen, is urging the state's Department of Health Services to provide free blood tests for people living in or near areas contaminated with PFAS, which are harmful chemicals that have been linked to the risk of thyroid disease, low birth weight, and cancer.

Action 2 News has been reporting on contaminated groundwater in Marinette County for months.

As we've said, the Department of Natural Resources has linked the contamination to Johnson Controls' Tyco Fire Products, a company that manufactures firefighting foam.

After multiple listening sessions with people affected by contaminated water in the Marinette and Peshtigo areas, Sen. Hansen wants to give them answers.

"The people up there can't wait,” Sen. Dave Hansen said. “They're getting sick and they're dying early and we've got to protect the kids. They may be drinking poison water."

He said people need to know if their health has been impacted by the toxic chemicals linked to Tyco fire products.

"They created the problem and they've been dancing on it,” said Sen. Dave Hansen. “They don't want to test, but I think anybody in the contaminated area or close should be tested and we should pay for it and then they should find out the information and check with their doctors."

In a statement the Department of Health Services told Action 2 News, “In some situations where we are aware of large populations of people that have been highly exposed, the CDC has provided funding to study those populations. We are not aware of areas of exposure in Wisconsin with high enough numbers of people for CDC or other federal agencies to support blood testing as part of this work.”

Sen. Hansen said Michigan has provided similar tests for people and it's time for Wisconsin to get on board.

“It's a sad day when we don't have clear water and you can't be confident in drinking clean water,” said Sen. Dave Hansen.

Action 2 News spoke with the Town of Peshtigo's Chairperson, Herman Pottratz.

Pottratz said in April a vote will be held for homeowners to say whether they want their water supply coming from Marinette, Peshtigo or their wells.

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