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Rep. Wendy E.N Thomas: Infrastructure Bill will help mitigate ‘forever chemicals’
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Rep. Wendy E.N Thomas: Infrastructure Bill will help mitigate ‘forever chemicals’

In an op-ed, New Hampshire state Rep. Wendy E.N. Thomas (D) describes how contaminated drinking water contributed to deteriorating public health in her community. Thomas explains how federal grants from the Biden administration’s infrastructure policies are delivering long-awaited relief to affected communities.

Earlier this year I had a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Soon, I will undergo surgery to remove my ovaries and fallopian tubes as my doctors confirmed that I am at a higher risk for ovarian cancer because of exposure to dangerous PFAS chemicals released into our community’s water supply. Today, it seems that this is the price of living in southern New Hampshire — sacrificing parts of your body so that corporate polluters can make a profit.

PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are man-made chemicals commonly used to make products more resistant to heat, water, and staining. They are incredibly toxic when ingested, associated with severe health problems such as cancer, and referred to as “forever chemicals” due to the length they continue to pollute an environment. In my town of Merrimack, PFAS contamination in the water supply has caused residents’ PFAS levels to grow several times higher than the national average, putting public health at risk.

The above excerpt was originally published in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Click here to view the full article.

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Wendy E.N. Thomas

State Representative of New Hampshire


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