Silent Spring Institute to Host Annual Cape Cod Research Update

HYANNIS – The Silent Spring Institute will present its annual research update next week in Hyannis.

The program is Wednesday, December 11 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Barnstable Town Hall.

Water quality expert Dr. Laurel Schaider will discuss the institute’s latest research projects, including the organization’s role in a new federal health study on exposure to PFAS contaminants in drinking water.

The five-year study, which is funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will test blood samples of adults and children in the communities of Hyannis and Ayer in Massachusetts.

Both locations have had drinking water contaminated by PFAS due to the use of firefighting foams from local training areas.

The chemicals, which are also found in nonstick coatings, water-repellent clothing and many other household and personal items, have been linked to health threats ranging from cancer to decreased fertility, a higher risk for diabetes, and more.

Other areas participating in the study are California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

Ruthann Rudel, Silent Spring’s Director of Research and an expert toxicologist, will discuss the institute’s work to accelerate the development of safer chemicals.

Rudel and her colleagues recently developed a prototype gene panel for rapidly screening chemicals for breast cancer risk. The new tool is part of Silent Spring’s BCScreen project to improve chemical safety testing.

The goal is to help regulatory agencies and manufacturers quickly identify and prioritize risky chemicals and prevent their use in everyday products.

About Brian Merchant

Brian Merchant grew up in Central Massachusetts and now lives in South Dennis on the Cape. He has been part of the news team in the NewsCenter since the spring of 2014. He studied radio broadcasting at the University of Tennessee.
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