Press Release

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, July 2, 2019, 11:00 am ET
Contact: NCEH/ATSDR Office of Communication
(770) 488-0700

CDC/ATSDR invites the public to learn about PFAS exposure assessment in Berkeley County, WV

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) announced today the initiation of an exposure assessment near the Shepherd Field Air National Guard Base in the City of Martinsburg, Berkeley County, West Virginia. The purpose of the exposure assessment is to provide information to the community members about the levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in their bodies and provide information about exposures in the broader community.

CDC/ATSDR invites residents of the City of Martinsburg, especially those near Shepherd Field Air National Guard Base, to attend an information session. Scientists will provide information about ATSDR, the PFAS exposure assessment, the participant recruitment process, and upcoming PFAS testing to be conducted.

CDC/ATSDR encourages people with disabilities to attend these meetings. If you need special accommodations, please contact Ana Pomales by email ( or phone (215-834-2554) at least a week prior to the meeting.

For members of the media, a media availability session will be held from 4:30 p.m.– 5:00 p.m. at the Comfort Inn Aikens Center, Berkeley Room.

July 24, 2019
5:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
Presentation will start at 6:00 p.m.

Comfort Inn Aikens Center – Berkeley Room
1872 Edwin Miller Boulevard
Martinsburg, WV, 25404

PFAS are man-made chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products since the 1950s. There are nearly 5,000 types of PFAS, some of which have been more widely used and studied than others.  Scientists are still learning about the health effects of exposure to PFAS. Some studies have shown that exposure to certain PFAS may affect growth, learning, and behavior of infants and older children; lower a woman’s chance of getting pregnant; interfere with the body’s natural hormones; increase cholesterol levels; affect the immune system; and increase the risk of cancer.

The primary goal of the exposure assessment is to provide information about levels of PFAS in their bodies to the community members served by the City of Martinsburg’s Big Springs well. The results of these exposure assessments will help individual participants and their communities better understand their exposure to PFAS and provide information that the communities can use to reduce PFAS exposure.

For more information about the PFAS Exposure Assessment, visit: For more information about PFAS and available resources, visit: or call 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636).