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State says chemicals found in drinking water in Burrillville

The state said Monday that tests of the Oakland Association water system in part of Burrillville revealed a "slightly elevated level" perfluorinated chemicals. (MGN)

Health officials are urging residents in a section of Burrillville to take precautions after chemicals were detected in their drinking water.

The chemicals, called perfluorinated chemicals, have been linked to cancer and other illnesses but currently aren't federally regulated in drinking water.

The state said Monday that tests of the Oakland Association water system in part of Burrillville revealed a "slightly elevated level."

The water system is telling customers not to boil water since that concentrates these chemicals, and to use bottled water or other licensed drinking water for now.

The water system serves about 175 people. Nearby well owners were told how to get their water tested.

The state held a community meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Burrillville Police Department, also partnering with Brown University, to check small water systems.

While the goal of the meeting was to try to educate residents about toxins found in the water, many left feeling frustrated and worried about how the chemicals might affect their health.

“A lot of people were not told, and my concern was to make sure that this does not continue and that this is not a pattern,” one resident, Peter Sawyer, said.

Another resident, Fred Lajoie, shared similar sentiments.

"I hope there's a solution that they're going to come to,” he said of officials. “They’ve got to do something."

(NBC 10 contributed to this report.)


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