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Would you drink water that’s poisoned? This sounds like a silly question of course, but to the residents of Hoosick Falls, NY not so much. After the death of Michael Hickey's father, he knew something was wrong in the small rural town. His father died of kidney cancer, which was unusual, as he was a healthy 68 year old man who did not drink or smoke. His dad’s death was among the many unexpected cancer related deaths in the town. After doing a simple google search, Hickey discovered a relationship between a chemical called PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and kidney cancer. Hickey’s father worked in a local factory called Saint Gobain (originally owned by Honeywell), where he produced Teflon products. One of the main chemicals in teflon happened to be PFOA. A coincidence? Hickey didn’t think so. After deciding to test his own water along with his father’s, the results confirmed his theory. All of the water he tested had PFOA levels well above the EPA’s recommended 400 ppt. To make matters worse, Hickey’s father’s house was on the same street as the Saint Gobain factory.
Lyons, Brendan J. “Top Stories 2016: PFOA Water Pollution in Hoosick Falls.” Times Union, Times Union, 30 Dec. 2016, www.timesunion.com/tuplus-local/article/Top- Stories-2016-PFOA-water-pollution-in-Hoosick-10825849.php
Snyder, Grace, "The PFOA Crisis in Hoosick Falls, NY" (2019). 2019 Op-Eds. 10.