Local Impact, Faculty News

Community Health Questionnaire Investigates PFOA Repercussions

The survey, which was distributed by the College and completed by 443 people in Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh, NY, and Bennington VT, investigated cases of cancer and other illness tied to the presence of PFOA in drinking water.

PFOA Survey Distribution

The questionnaire reported 31 instances of kidney cancer, 11 instances of testicular cancer, and over 230 instances of thyroid disease in Hoosick Falls, Petersburgh and Bennington.

As a result of the survey, advocacy groups and residents alike are calling for serious and sustained medical monitoring of those affected by PFOA in the local area. 

The Bennington report's findings have been covered by a variety of regional media, including The Bennington Banner, VT Digger, WAMC, WNYT, and NEWS10 ABC.

The community engagement that this survey has spurred, noted David Bond, faculty member and associate director of the Center for the Advancement for Public Action, highlights the importance of including local voices on local issues.

"Every day we took the questionnaire into the community, we were not only welcomed by residents, we also gained firsthand accounts of why local knowledge matters," said Bond. "Far too often, the voices of impacted communities are overlooked as key decisions are made from afar. This questionnaire shows just how important those voices are."