Tainted water at former air base has New Hampshire families on edge

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — The Pease International Tradeport, which features an airport, hundreds of businesses and several day care centers, has been called a textbook example of how to redevelop an air base.

But many who worked or had their children looked after there are coming to terms with a hidden risk: drinking water contaminated by military firefighting foam that contained perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs.

Exposure to the chemicals, found in scores of everyday products like nonstick cookware and stain-resistant carpet and probably occurring at low levels in most people, have been linked in animal studies to low birth weight, accelerated puberty, cancer and thyroid problems, among other maladies, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.