Massachusetts PFAS and Your Health Study
About the Study
The Massachusetts PFAS and Your Health Study is a five-year project led by Silent Spring Institute in collaboration with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Eastern Research Group. The study is focusing on two communities in Eastern Massachusetts—Hyannis on Cape Cod and the town of Ayer—where public drinking water supplies have been contaminated by PFAS from the use of firefighting foams at nearby fire training areas.
It is one of seven projects funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) as part of the ATSDR Multi-Site Health Study on PFAS.
Community partners include the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC) and People of Ayer Concerned about the Environment (PACE).
Sign up to Participate
Are you eligible?
Hyannis (Phase 1): We are currently recruiting adults (ages 18+) and children (ages 4-17) who lived in Hyannis between May 2006 and July 2016. Children whose mothers lived in Hyannis between May 2006 and July 2016, prior to their child’s birth, may also be eligible to participate.
Ayer (Phase 2): In the fall of 2022, we will begin recruiting adults (ages 18+) and children (ages 4-17) who lived in Ayer between May 2006 and February 2018. Children whose mothers lived in Ayer between May 2006 and February 2018, prior to their child’s birth, may also be eligible to participate.
Study participants will be asked to:
- Provide a blood sample, urine sample, and body measurements during a scheduled visit to our study’s office.
- Complete a questionnaire, which we will administer by phone after your office visit.
- Complete a neurobehavioral assessment, which includes a series of learning and memory games, during a second scheduled visit to our office (children and adolescents).
Adult participants will $50 in gift cards and children will receive $75 in gift cards for completing all parts of the study. Participants will also receive a personalized report with their blood test results.
* Our study team follows strict COVID-19 precautions. Everyone entering the office will be required to wear a mask and be screened for COVID-19 symptoms. Our offices are equipped with air filters, and we will keep the windows open when possible to improve ventilation.
If you would like to join the study or learn more, please contact us:
Call/Text: (508) 296-4298
The Hyannis office is located at:
171 Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
The entrance to the study office is in the back of the building on the east side. Please follow the directional signs posted outside. There is free parking in the back of the building. Visitors can access the parking lot from either School Street or Main Street.
Call/Text: (978) 212-9733
The Ayer office is located at:
190 Groton Road, Suite 200
Nashoba Valley Medical Office Building
Ayer, MA 01432
News and Updates
Feb. 16, 2022: Saturday open house: Current and former Hyannis residents needed for national PFAS study, Cape Cod Times
May 31, 2021: Study Looking At PFAS In Drinking Water Begins In Hyannis This Summer, WBUR
Jan. 21, 2022: Scientists recruiting volunteers for health study on exposure to PFAS in drinking water. Residents in Hyannis on Cape Cod are invited to an Open House on February 19th to learn about the study and meet the team.
May 18, 2021: Massachusetts PFAS and Your Health Study Community Kickoff on Cape Cod. Silent Spring Institute and their partners invite current and former residents in Hyannis to a virtual community event on May 18th to learn about the Massachusetts PFAS and Your Health Study.
Sept. 25, 2019: Silent Spring Institute awarded $1 million to study health impacts of PFAS in drinking water. One of seven projects chosen as part of new federal health study to address contamination affecting communities nationwide
Meet the Team
- Laurel Schaider, PhD, Principal investigator, Senior Scientist in Environmental Chemistry and Engineering, Silent Spring Institute
- Philippe Grandjean, MD, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator, Adjunct Professor of Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Core Research Team
- Rebecca DeVries, ScD, Senior Epidemiologist, Eastern Research Group
- Naida Gavrelis, MPH, Vice President, Eastern Research Group
- Emily Heckel, MPH, Research Assistant, Silent Spring Institute (Study Coordinator)
- Tamarra James-Todd, PhD, Assistant Professor of Environmental Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
- Ruthann Rudel, MS, Director of Research, Toxicology and Exposure Assessment, Silent Spring Institute
- Laurie Nehring, President, People of Ayer Concerned about the Environment (PACE)
- Cheryl Osimo, Executive Director, Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC) and Cape Coordinator, Silent Spring Institute
Field Office Teams
- Virginia Liu, MPH
- Barbara Murphy, RN, MSN, CNE
- Joan Owens
- Kaitlyn Smith
- Emily Campbell
- Ain Imchen
- Bianca Perla
- David Bellinger, PhD, Professor of Neurology and Psychology, Harvard Medical School and Professor of Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
- Vincent Bessonneau, PhD, Visiting Scientist, Analytical Chemistry and Metabolomics, Silent Spring Institute
- Julia Brody, PhD, Executive Director and Senior Scientist, Silent Spring Institute
- Clifton Dassuncao, PhD, Environmental Epidemiologist, Eastern Research Group
- Alexandra Goho, MS, Director of Communications, Silent Spring Institute
- Elsie Sunderland, PhD, Professor of Environmental Chemistry, Harvard Jerome A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences