LETTER – Comox resident concerned about ground contaminants

Dear editor,

Toxicological studies have reported chronic exposure to PFAS to have adverse effects on reproductive, endocrine, and immune systems, and to be carcinogenic in humans (Butenhoff et al., 2012). The major route of chronic exposure to PFAS is through the ingestion of foods from contaminated soil and water.

The source of the PFAS and PFOS contaminants (firefighting foams) were used from 1970 to 2008. So for almost 40 years nearby residents, fish and wildlife may have been unwittingly and chronically exposed to unsafe levels.

If CFB Comox is truly “committed to responsibly managing the effects of our operational legacy, and doing our part to safeguard the health of Canadians”, why are they not releasing the actual levels of contaminants detected in soil and groundwater at the base and in Scales Creek to those of us directly affected. The survey (hand delivered from a Kelowna company) asks only about wells, drinking water and septic systems. No mention of soil use for human food consumption or soil testing off the base.

If we are going to be kept in the dark by 19 Wing, Island Health and our CVRD until next spring, I am wondering if we should garbage the vegetables and fruit from our gardens that now fill our freezers and scrap the idea of planting anything next year.

Barbara Mellin,

Comox

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