The PFAS contamination began in Oakey from toxic firefighting foam from the army aviation centre.
The PFAS contamination began in Oakey from toxic firefighting foam from the army aviation centre. Tara Miko

PFAS contamination case impacted Oakey child birth

OAKEY residents have explained in submissions to a parliamentary inquiry how the PFAS water contamination case has upended their lives.

Nathaniel Roberts wrote in a submission to the Inquiry into the management of PFAS contamination in and around Defence bases he bought a home with his wife Stephanie in Oakey in 2014, unaware of the contamination.

"In 2016 we gave birth to our first child and the full concern of the impact of this contamination really hit home," he said.

"Although there is no conclusive evidence that these chemicals cause adverse health effects, the existing research which I have seen is consistent with our pregnancy and birth - these being developmental (low birth weight, laryngomalacia and skeletal effects) and pregnancy-induced hypertension.

"Obviously these things can occur in any pregnancy, but statistically we were at low risk, the skeletal hypermobility is unusual, and to have the collection is worrying. Thankfully our daughter appears to be growing healthily and is meeting developmental milestones, albeit sometimes a bit too cheekily."

Mr Roberts said his family were looking at buying a new home outside of Oakey, but were not able to as they could not afford the move due to land values decreasing as a result of the contamination.

An anonymous submission from an Oakey resident who lives on Davidson St said the "contamination was an unfortunate accident which impacts me directly".

"Instead of enjoying my retirement, I am attending many, many meetings and filling out tons of paperwork," the person wrote.

"It seems no one has a clue whether or not this human contamination is a serious health problem or not."

"I had the blood test in the first round in May 2015, way before the call for public testing. My levels are significantly high."

Cattle stud owner Dianne Priddle wrote in her submission the human cost of the contamination had been forgotten.

The inquiry will visit the Oakey RSL for a hearing on August 17.



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