State Lawmaker Calls for Resignation of State Epidemiologist Over Water Contamination Study

Aug 18, 2017

A state representative is calling for the resignation of New Hampshire's state epidemiologist. At issue is the validity of a new study about the health effects of exposure to certain water contaminants.

Democratic rep Mindi Messmer of Rye and state epidemiologist Ben Chan are both members of a task force investigating a cancer cluster identified on the Seacoast last year.

Messmer is calling for Chan’s resignation after he raised concerns about a new study on the health effects of exposure to PFC, a water contaminant. Messmer and other members of the group want the study’s findings included in the task force’s final report.

“For a public health official to be criticizing a very well-founded, scientific, evidence based study, documenting health outcomes in people that were exposed to PFCs is troubling,” said Messmer.

Chan declined to comment.

In a statement, the Department of Health and Human Services praised Chan's work. The statement also says that despite studies like the one in question, there remains no definitive science on the health effects of PFC exposure. You can read the full statement here.