We are investigating the relationship between PFAS contaminants in drinking water and their effects on human health. Findings from the study will inform policies to protect public health and support communities in reducing their exposures.

About the Study

child holding glass of waterThe Massachusetts PFAS and Your Health Study is a five-year project led by Silent Spring Institute in collaboration with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Eastern Research Group. The study is focusing on two communities in Eastern Massachusetts—Hyannis on Cape Cod and the town of Ayer—where public drinking water supplies have been contaminated by PFAS from the use of firefighting foams at nearby fire training areas.

It is one of seven projects funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) as part of the ATSDR Multi-Site Health Study on PFAS.

Community partners include the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC) and People of Ayer Concerned about the Environment (PACE).

Sign up to Participate

ATSDR PFAS Health StudyAre you eligible?

Hyannis (Phase 1): We are currently recruiting adults (ages 18+) and children (ages 4-17) who lived in Hyannis between May 2006 and July 2016. Children whose mothers lived in Hyannis between May 2006 and July 2016, prior to their child’s birth, may also be eligible to participate.

Ayer (Phase 2): In 2022, we will begin recruiting adults (ages 18+) and children (ages 4-17) who lived in Ayer between May 2006 and February 2018. Children whose mothers lived in Ayer between May 2006 and February 2018, prior to their child’s birth, may also be eligible to participate.

What's involved?

Study participants will be asked to:

  • Provide a blood sample, urine sample, and body measurements during a scheduled visit to our study’s office.
  • Complete a questionnaire, which we will administer by phone after your office visit.
  • Complete a neurobehavioral assessment, which includes a series of learning and memory games, during a second scheduled visit to our office (children and adolescents).

Adult participants will $50 in gift cards and children will receive $75 in gift cards for completing all parts of the study. Participants will also receive a personalized report with their blood test results.

* Our study team follows strict COVID-19 precautions. Everyone entering the office will be required to wear a mask and be screened for COVID-19 symptoms. Our office is equipped with air filters, and we will keep the windows open when possible to improve ventilation.

Contact us:

If you would like to join the study or learn more, please contact us:

Hyannis officeEmail: pfas-health-study@silentspring.org
Call/Text: (508) 296-4298

The Hyannis office is located at:

171 Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601

The entrance to the study office is in the back of the building on the east side. Please follow the directional signs posted outside. There is free parking in the back of the building. Visitors can access the parking lot from either School Street or Main Street.

 

News and Updates

Media Coverage

May 31, 2021: Study Looking At PFAS In Drinking Water Begins In Hyannis This Summer, WBUR

May 20, 2021: Researchers Seek 900 Hyannis Residents to Participate in PFAS Drinking Water Study, WCAI 

Project Updates

May 18, 2021: Massachusetts PFAS and Your Health Study Community Kickoff on Cape Cod. Silent Spring Institute and their partners invite current and former residents in Hyannis to a virtual community event on May 18th to learn about the Massachusetts PFAS and Your Health Study.

Sept. 25, 2019: Silent Spring Institute awarded $1 million to study health impacts of PFAS in drinking water. One of seven projects chosen as part of new federal health study to address contamination affecting communities nationwide

Meet the Team

Leadership

  • Laurel Schaider, PhD, Principal investigator, Senior Scientist in Environmental Chemistry and Engineering, Silent Spring Institute
  • Philippe Grandjean, MD, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator, Adjunct Professor of Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Core Research Team

  • Rebecca DeVries, ScD, Senior Epidemiologist, Eastern Research Group
  • Maia Fitzstevens, MS, Research Assistant, Silent Spring Institute
  • Naida Gavrelis, MPH, Vice President, Eastern Research Group (Project Manager)
  • Tamarra James-Todd, PhD, Assistant Professor of Environmental Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health 
  • June Jiao, MPH, Research Assistant, Silent Spring Institute (Study Coordinator)
  • Ruthann Rudel, MS, Director of Research, Toxicology and Exposure Assessment, Silent Spring Institute

Community Partners

  • Laurie Nehring, President, People of Ayer Concerned about the Environment (PACE)
  • Cheryl Osimo, Executive Director, Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC) and Cape Coordinator, Silent Spring Institute

Other Members

  • David Bellinger, PhD, Professor of Neurology and Psychology, Harvard Medical School and Professor of Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Vincent Bessonneau, PhD, Visiting Scientist, Analytical Chemistry and Metabolomics, Silent Spring Institute
  • Julia Brody, PhD, Executive Director and Senior Scientist, Silent Spring Institute
  • Clifton Dassuncao, PhD, Environmental Epidemiologist, Eastern Research Group
  • Alexandra Goho, MS, Director of Communications, Silent Spring Institute
  • Elsie Sunderland, PhD, Professor of Environmental Chemistry, Harvard Jerome A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences