BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health says there's no evidence of a contaminant impacting drinking water near Patrick Air Force Base, in an area some nearby residents feared was a "cancer cluster."
- Health Department issues Brevard "cancer cluster" report
- Officials: Contaminant didn't impact water near military base
- READ IT: Florida Department of Health's Brevard County Cancer Assessment (PDF)
The Health Department issued its "Brevard County Cancer Assessment" report Thursday on its research into citizen reports of a higher number of cancer cases in some areas around the base.
Military bases used to use per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, which the Environmental Protection Agency says may cause cancer. Residents suspected that PFAS that leaked into the groundwater may have caused higher rates of cancer in the area.
In the report, officials "found no evidence of PFAS currently impacting the public drinking water of the surrounding areas of Patrick Air Force Base," it said. "Irrigation water and surface water samples did reveal detections of PFAS but levels were below their respective screening values. Since there is no documented exposure, it is not possible to link any excess cancer cases with PFOS/PFOA exposure in the local community," the assessment says.
The report said that for cases of specific types of cancer that were statistically higher than expected for the population, officials said there are other risk factors that could explain the findings.
"Current findings from this cancer assessment review do not confirm a cancer cluster," the report said.