We start the conversation.
Let the science and the facts inform the answer but remember, 
the maths doesn't lie.
PFAS
This PFAS information page has been created due to the outdated, ineffectual material and consequential inadequate warnings that the Victorian and Federal Government have supplied to our PFAS contaminated communities in Gippsland.

See ESSO and East Sale RAAF Base web links but know that PFAS contamination is in Lake Wellington (the Gippsland Lakes), Fulham CFA, Latrobe River upstream of Sale, Gippsland Water Dutson Downs waste treatment plant, Dowds & Heart Morass wetlands and Lake Reeves at the least.
If you are a neighbour to or intending to purchase a property in a contaminated zone please do your due diligence.
Learn about the different sorts of testing, what should be tested knowing that different laboratories test more comprehensively than others.
But more importantly, understand that our PFAS health based guidelines set by government will not protect as they should.

PFAS: per- and poly-fluorinated alkyl substances (about 2000 compounds) are a group of man-made chemicals which include PFOS (perfluooctane sulfonate), PFHxS (perfluorohexane sulfonate) and PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid). These 3 main compounds were contained in a variety of sources with the Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) used by Defence and Industry from the 1970s to the 2000s the most significant. AFFF had widespread use in Australia and worldwide in firefighting foams which were not to escape into the environment but now forms the wild stockpile that government don’t want to acknowledge let alone manage. It is unknown to the public the ongoing use of PFAS chemicals. 

PFAS are know to be bioaccumulative and biomagnify in food webs, are toxic to humans and wildlife due to their persistence in the environment and solubility, can be transported long distances (kilometres) in water and air, and transfer between different media (e.g. soil, sediment, surface water and groundwater including drinking water).

This is the soil & dust you work in, the dirt your children play in, the bore water your family drink & water your livestock, and the surface & groundwater that grows your veggies and crops.

The Department of Health [Australia] maintains there is no consistent evidence the toxins cause 'important' health effects, in contrast to the US EPA, which has concluded they are a human health hazard that – at high-enough levels – can cause immune dysfunction, hormonal interference and certain types of cancer.

It has been a very clever and neat mantra from the Australian federal government trying to undermine the severity of exposures and their links to health effects. 
However, current lack of causation evidence does not preclude liability for association of PFAS contamination impacts on human health, legal, social and economic grounds. 

Was a concerted effort made by state and federal governments to deliberately conceal the extent of contaminations from defence bases and industry in the ‘90s & early 2000 therefore manipulating the true extent of blood serum levels of affected persons
PFOS and PFOA cannot be declared ‘emerging contaminants’ rather they have already peaked in their exposures so levels are lower now than what they would have been had the government acted with integrity. 
This relates to the cancer clusters in contaminated zones with our own ESSO neighbours and workers (including retired) potentially having a higher than normal gland (thyroid)/cancer rates. And what of childhood illnesses? 
All governments have dishonestly, yet effectively, concealed PFAS contamination to the detriment of the impacted communities negligently exposing innocent families for years to the toxic chemicals in their normal everyday life that, had they known, would do differently. 

Top of the list is Gippsland Federal National's member Darren Chester who has had numerous roles in Defence department but failed to engage with his affected electorate on the PFAS contamination.

So, when the sham was exposed this disconnect between the moral right of government to look after the people became very apparent in June 2016 favouring the cover-up to undermine the offender’s liability (primarily Defence). 
Health-based guidelines by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) needed to be updated which indicate the amount of a chemical in food or drinking water that a person can ingest on a regular basis over a lifetime without any significant risk to health. 
The following two papers highlight how this occurred with total disregard for the growing scientific data, 

The Saturday Paper stated,
‘The April 5 workshop set “tolerable daily intake” levels for both chemicals at 75 times higher than acceptable limits in the United States. Safe drinking water limits were set at more than 78 times the US level.’

The Newcastle Herald noted,
'Basing its decision on European data from 2008, the Environmental Health Standing Committee - or EnHealth - HAS LIFTED  tolerable drinking water standards from the interim level of 0.2 and 0.4 parts per billion for PFOS and PFOA to 0.5 and 5 parts per billion respectively.'

By 2017, The Guardian reported,
'In April 2017, the federal government dramatically lowered the safe exposure levels of the PFAS toxic firefighting chemicals to finally be in line with US standards.
The new tolerable daily intake levels (TDIs) of PFOS in drinking water has been reduced by 7.5 times from 0.5 micrograms to 0.07 micrograms per litre, and from 5 micrograms to 0.56 for PFOA.'

70 parts per trillion (ppt) is equivalent to 0.07 parts per billion (ppb)


'​While water and diet are believed to be the most common pathways for human exposure to PFAS, PFAS disposal (contamination) on land has also likely contributed to human exposure.' 
This is the dust that you work in and the dirt your children play in.
'…the persistence and longevity of PFAS heighten the chances of human exposure as PFAS moves through the environment.' Read A Toxic Threat brief by UCS.

'When both PFOA and PFOS are found in drinking water, the combined concentrations of PFOA and PFOS should be compared with the 70 parts per trillion health advisory level.'  https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-06/documents/drinkingwaterhealthadvisories_pfoa_pfos_updated_5.31.16.pdf

'PFOS adsorbs to soil, sediment and sludge ... and clay content ...leaching from soil to groundwater has been documented and the absence of soil impacts should not be taken as an indication that contaminated groundwater is not present (applicable to both PFOS and PFOA).' Pg 7
https://www.der.wa.gov.au/images/documents/your-environment/contaminated-sites/guidelines/Guideline-on-Assessment-and-Management-of-PFAS-.pdf

PFOS is in the clay aquitard of the shallow Boisdale Aquifer admitted by RAAF representatives moving every time the rain recharges the aquifer.
On discussion with neighbours of both RAAF & ESSO it doesn't appear that sediment testing of dams & wetlands is occurring in Gippsland!
- NO DATA, NO EVIDENCE!

  • Is the current testing regime conducted by Defence and ESSO reflective of the true contamination extent & severity? 
  • Are the Australian health guidelines adequate to allow PFAS impacted landholders to safely determine their exposure risks?

ATSDR applied a weight of-evidence approach to evaluate whether the available data supported a link between perfluoroalkyl exposure and a particular health effect, taking into consideration the consistency of the findings across studies, the quality of the studies, dose-response, and plausibility.

APPENDIX A
Using this weight-of-evidence approach, the available epidemiology data identify several potential health hazards of PFOA, PFOS, PFHxS, PFNA, and PFDeA in humans as listed below.
PFOA
  • Pregnancy-induced hypertension/pre-eclampsia
  • Liver damage, as evidenced by increases in serum enzymes and decreases in serum bilirubin 
  • levels
  • Increases in serum lipids, particularly total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol
  • Increased risk of thyroid disease
  • Decreased antibody response to vaccines
  • Increased risk of asthma diagnosis
  • Increased risk of decreased fertility
  • Small (<20 g or 0.7 ounces per 1 ng/mL increase in blood perfluoroalkyl level) decreases in birth weight
PFOS
  • Pregnancy-induced hypertension/pre-eclampsia
  • Liver damage, as evidenced by increases in serum enzymes and decreases in serum bilirubin levels
  • Increases in serum lipids, particularly total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol
  • Increased risk of thyroid disease
  • Decreased antibody response to vaccines
  • Increased risk of decreased fertility
  • Small (<20 g or 0.7 ounces per 1 ng/mL increase in blood perfluoroalkyl level) decreases in birth weight 
PFHxS
  • Liver damage, as evidenced by increases in serum enzymes and decreases in serum bilirubin levels
  • Decreased antibody response to vaccines
PFNA
  • Increases in serum lipids, particularly total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol
  • Decreased antibody response to vaccines 
PFDeA
  • Increases in serum lipids, particularly total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol
  • Decreased antibody response to vaccines 

These newer American draft MRLs are set lower than previously because they now take into consideration that immune effects might be an additional more sensitive health effect than developmental health effects alone. Exposure above the MRLs does not mean that health problems will happen.

Please seek legal advice on your individual circumstances as independent, private testing should be
completed to determine accuracy of testing already completed by offending parties. The cost can be claimed back via private or class actions.
Read Oct 18 article on testing - 'Surely a test is a test': Shock over blood results for toxic chemical

Contact me on tracey_anton@hotmail.com for further information.
ATSDR has developed and recommended new MRL screening values for (PFOA), (PFOS), (PFHxS) and (PFNA). Using mathematical equations, ATSDR uses an average adult’s or child’s weight and water intake to convert these MRLs into drinking water concentrations, the individual PFOA, PFOS, PFHxS, and PFNA concentrations are now -

PFOA: 78 ppt (adult) and 21 ppt (child)
PFOS: 52 ppt (adult) and 14 ppt (child)
PFHxS: 517 ppt (adult) and 140 ppt (child)
PFNA: 78 ppt (adult) and 21 ppt (child)
https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfas/mrl_pfas.html
These will continually be reviewed as new data becomes available.

The following is Australia's Health Based Guidelines
-no distinction for weight or age and significantly higher for PFOA

PFOA: 560 ppt
PFOS/PFHxS: 70 ppt
PFNA: -

In dosage form this is what combined PFAS compounds would amount to. Public Health Relevance
Move on 18 months, impacted Australian communities continue the fight against the injustice.
See Australian information on the developing Coalition Against PFAS (CAP) web page. 

Meanwhile, America has been the most proactive in research, toxicological profiling and identifying hazardous substances to ascertain significant human exposure levels in the environment for the associated health effects.
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) in America has come out swinging in support of the following agency and their studies which Trump tried to block from publication.
current draft report is available at The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry PFAS & Your Health (ATSDR) to develop health-based values to protect the health of the general population. More importantly, to protect children as current allowable exposure of 70 ppt is too high.

ATSDR works with Minimal Risk Levels (MRL) which are daily doses whereas EPA USA & Australia use health advice (HA) based on concentrations with both country's allowable exposures too high.
Mg/kg/day is a unit of daily dose, while ppt is a unit of concentration.
Perfluoroalkyls are readily absorbed following inhalation or oral exposure and partitions to protein (not fats) in blood, liver, kidney, muscle and not metabolised in humans or animals.

This is important in relation to the amount of time these toxic PFAS chemicals stay in the body.