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People affected by Red Hill water crisis invited to take public health survey

Red Hill water sampling
Petty Officer 2nd Class MarQueon/Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet
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AIEA, Hawaii (April 4, 2022) Larry Powell, a Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command contractor, collects water samples from a granular activated carbon filter as a part of real-time monitoring at Red Hill Well. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Mar’Queon A. D. Tramble)

If you’ve been experiencing health issues related to the Red Hill fuel spill, you’re not alone. Federal and state officials want to hear from you.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state Department of Health are urging those affected by the contaminated water to take part in a health survey.

It’s a follow-up to earlier efforts taken at the height of the contamination.

“We know people are continuing to have issues with symptoms and feeling unwell. We want to find out more about how they’re feeling, what they’re feeling, how they’re approaching their water use," said Dr. Diana Felton, a DOH toxicologist.

"The more information we can get on a situation like this that is so unprecedented, the more we can do to inform our public health response and help people," she told The Conversation.

Felton says the survey, which closes on Sept. 23, takes about 20 to 30 minutes to complete.

State health officials, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Coast Guard observed an exercise Thursday simulating a spill at the Navy’s Red Hill Fuel Storage Facility.

This interview aired on The Conversation on Sept. 22, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at ccruz@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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