Candidate Messmer weighs in on released report on drinking water

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Mindi Messmer

PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE: Representative and CD-1 Candidate Messmer (District 24) released the following statement today:

As reported by Politico earlier this month and after almost 6 months of suppression, the ATSDR was able to release results of important health studies in a report today that concludes EPA’s drinking water advisory for perfluorinated chemicals in drinking water is inadequate to protect people from cancer and other chronic health diseases.

The study concludes that the current advisory of 70 ppt total for PFOA and PFOS should be lowered to 7 ppt for PFOS and 11 ppt for PFOA.  The study also concludes that new standards for two other PFAs, PFNA and PFHxS should be 14 ppt and 70 ppt, respectively.

Currently, there are no EPA or New Hampshire drinking water advisories or standards for PFNA and PFHxS and all of these PFAs have been detected at much higher levels in water in New Hampshire. The standards recommended by ATSDR are below even the most stringent standards enacted or proposed in states like Vermont, New Jersey, and Minnesota.

My legislative work has focused, in part, on lowering the standards for PFOA and PFOS in drinking water in New Hampshire and pushing for the Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) to come up with standards for PFNA and PFHxS due to concerns about drinking water contamination in private and public drinking water supplies in Rye, North Hampton, Portsmouth, Greenland, Merrimack, Litchfield, Bedford, Rochester and Amherst, to name a few.

My legislative work has been the result of my concerns relating to the seacoast pediatric cancer cluster that I identified in 2014.  This is the first CDC-defined cancer cluster ever identified in the State of New Hampshire and children have been killed and are battling for their lives against this nasty, rare cancer. Two adult-onset cases of the same cancer have been reported in the Merrimack and Litchfield area and both areas have significant PFAs releases in drinking water.

Senate Bill 309, which I authored, would compel the NHDES to come up with surface water standards and enact stricter drinking water standards for PFAs. This bill passed the House and Senate and the Governor has publicly indicated that he will sign it.

Toxins in our environment and drinking water may be the underlying causes of cancer and chronic disease in New Hampshire. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the State of New Hampshire has the highest rate of breast cancer in the country. There are some initial reports that PFAs exposure may be related to breast cancer. On the day that my House Bill 1592 passed the House floor that mandated the NHDES to enact stricter drinking water standards for arsenic, Dartmouth College released a statement that New Hampshire has the highest rate of bladder cancer in the country.  Bladder cancer is tied to arsenic ingestion. We must reduce exposures to environmental toxins in our drinking water to prevent cancer and chronic disease in our state and especially in our children.

I am grateful that this important health information has finally been released. I will continue to fight to make sure that we protect public health in New Hampshire.

Your vote for me on September 11 is a vote to bring your voice to Washington, to protect our children and families. Learn more by visiting our website at or directing questions to


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