PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (CBS) — Madelynn Dinan looks and acts like a healthy five-year-old, but new tests results show alarmingly high levels of potentially dangerous chemicals in her body, that may have come from her daycare center years ago.
“The one that was the highest that scared me was about eight times the national average,” said her mother, Chelsi Christensen.
Madelynn was tested by the Department of Health and Human Services after a well that used to service her daycare center was found to have high levels of perfluorochemicals, known as PFCs.
It’s on the grounds of the former Air Force base now known as Pease Tradeport in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
In May of 2014, the city shut down the well, but now there are concerns the contamination could trickle to two nearby wells that are still functioning at Pease.
The state has tested 466 people connected to Pease. So far, results from 98 adults show higher than average levels.
Now, results on hundreds of children are coming in.
The effects of this type of exposure are unknown, but some experts have linked PFCs to cancer.
“A lot of mothers are really concerned. We don’t know what’s going to happen to our children in the long run,” said Christensen.
The Great Bay Kids Company, where her daughter has gone for the last four years, has installed filters on faucets in its classrooms and kitchen.
The center has stepped up its water testing schedule, which currently shows the water is safe, even without the filters.
The center’s executive director is calling on the federal government to go above and beyond to clean up the situation.
“I think zero tolerance when it comes to children or people’s lives, should be the only thing that’s acceptable,” said Executive Director Katelyn Dennis.
Despite the scare, Christensen says she will continue to bring her children to Great Bay Kids Company, but will send them with their own food and bottled water.
“I feel like Great Bay is doing everything they can,” she said. The Air Force has scheduled a meeting in Portsmouth next week to address the situation.