Fairbanks North Star Borough (AK) near Eielson Air Force Base

The Air Force has supplied a water line from the City of North Pole into Moose Creek. As of May 2022, approximately 174 of 192 properties in Moose Creek are connected to this water supply. The water supply meets all federal and state guidelines for PFAS in drinking water. ATSDR recommends the other 18 households within Moose Creek continue to use the alternative sources of water provided by the Air Force until they are connected to the North Pole water distribution system.

Road covered with snow.


In 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) conducted an exposure assessment (EA) in Moose Creek, Fairbanks North Star Borough, AK, near Eielson Air Force Base. CDC and ATSDR sent the individual test results to participants and released summary results to the community in February 2021. The PFAS exposure assessment report was released in May 2022.

Why did we select Moose Creek?

When selecting EA sites, ATSDR considered the extent of PFOA and PFOS contamination in drinking water supplies, the duration over which exposure may have occurred, and the number of potentially affected residents. Moose Creek was one of several sites nationwide identified with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) drinking water contamination from use of products such as aqueous film forming foam (AFFF).

As early as the 1980s, the Base used AFFF containing PFAS for its firefighter training. Over time, the PFAS from the AFFF soaked into the ground, moved into the groundwater to offsite locations, and affected nearby private wells in Moose Creek. PFAS were first detected in private wells downgradient of the Base in May 2015. To reduce levels of PFAS in drinking water, the Air Force immediately began providing bottled water to Moose Creek households served by the affected wells. The Air Force eventually implemented other mitigation efforts, including installing underground storage tanks, above-ground storage tanks, bottled water delivery services, and whole-house granulated activated carbon filtering systems.

Based on information available to ATSDR, the alternative drinking water provided by the Air Force (whether through filters, bottled water, or tanks) currently meets or is below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2016 health advisory (HA) and state public health guidelines for PFAS in drinking water. At this time, ATSDR recommends community members continue to use the alternative sources of water provided by the Air Force.

Sampling Area 

Map of sampling area of Moose Creek, Alaska EA site


Time of EA including information session, recruitment, field work, samples analyzed, results, site report & community meeting

How was the testing conducted?

ATSDR invited all Moose Creek residents to participate in the PFAS exposure assessment. To be eligible to participate, household members must have

  1. received their drinking water from a private well in Moose Creek for at least 1 year before December 28, 2017 (these residents have the greatest likelihood of past exposures to PFAS via their private well drinking water),
  2. been greater than three years old at the time of sample collection,
  3. not been anemic or had a bleeding disorder that would prevent giving a blood sample.


In February 2021, CDC/ATSDR released a summary [PDF – 195 KB] of the biological and environmental test results. The full report was released May 24, 2022 and a summary of the report’s findings is presented below. The full report is available here [PDF – 2 MB].

In August 2020, ATSDR collected samples and other information from participants.

analyzed data from

Adult and child holding hands

(79 adults and 9 children)

Two houses


Questionnaire on a clipboard

Everyone completed a questionnaire.

Blood and urine sample vials

Most people provided
blood and urine samples.

Glass of tap water and dust cloud

ATSDR collected samples of tap
water and dust from some homes.

ATSDR sent each participant their individual results in February 2021 and published community summary results at

Key Takeaways

  • Average age-adjusted levels of two PFAS (PFHxS and PFOS) in the blood of Moose Creek EA participants were up to 7.7 times the national levels. Other PFAS were not higher than the national average or were detected too infrequently to compare to national averages.
  • Elevated blood levels may be linked with past drinking water contamination.
  • Some demographic and lifestyle characteristics were linked with higher PFAS blood levels.
  • All tap water samples collected during the EA in 2020 met the EPA’s HA and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (AK DEC) action levels for specific PFAS in drinking water.
What did we learn about PFAS levels in blood?

Average blood levels of two PFAS (PFHxS and PFOS) in Moose Creek were higher than average levels nationwide.

Of the seven PFAS tested in Moose Creek, five PFAS were detected in more than 70% of the blood samples collected: PFHxS, PFOS, PFOA, PFNA, and MeFOSAA.

Since 1999, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) has measured PFAS levels in blood in the U.S. population. PFAS levels are shown to be age dependent and tend to increase with age in part due to longer periods of exposure. The initial community summary results showed average levels of three PFAS above national averages. ATSDR adjusted blood levels of study participants in Moose Creek for age to enable meaningful comparison to the NHANES dataset. After adjustment, two PFAS were higher than levels nationwide. Age-adjusted averages are more representative of the Moose Creek community.

Bar chart of Moose Creek unadjusted, NHANES age-adjusted, and national averages of PFHxS, PFOS, PFOA, PFNA, MeFOSAA.

Elevated blood levels of PFHxS and PFOS in the Moose Creek EA participants may be linked with past drinking water contamination.

PFHxS and PFOS were detected in Moose Creek private wells as early as 2015, though contamination likely began earlier. Between 2015 and 2017, actions taken by the Air Force reduced PFAS levels in drinking water in the affected area below the EPA HA for PFOS and PFOA and AK DEC action levels for multiple PFAS. There were 2 years and 8 months between the reduction of exposure via contaminated private wells and the collection of the EA blood samples. Because of the long half-lives of PFHxS, PFOS, and PFOA in the human body, past drinking water exposures may have contributed to the EA participants’ blood levels. Typically, residents who had elevated blood PFHxS levels also had elevated blood PFOS levels. This correlation suggests a common exposure source, such as the drinking water. Other sources of exposure were not measured, but could have contributed to PFAS concentrations measured in blood of the EA participants.

Arrow pointing down from water bottle

Adults who mainly drank bottled water at home had lower PFHxS and PFOS blood levels than those who mainly drank private well water.

Arrow pointing down from water faucet dripping

Adults who primarily drank from a public water system (including water delivered by the Air Force) had lower PFOS blood levels than adults who primarily drank private well water.

ATSDR used statistical models to study relationships between various demographic and lifestyle characteristics of the tested residents. The models showed that, in general
Arrow pointing up from an elderly person

Blood levels of PFHxS,
PFOS, and PFOA were
higher in older participants.

Arrow pointing up from a man

Males had higher blood
levels of PFHxS and PFOS
than females did.

The difference between males and
females was larger in younger people.

Arrow pointing up next to a person touching dirt

Residents who came in
contact with soil 3 times a
week or more had higher
PFOS blood levels

than those who came in contact with soil
a few times per years or less.

Arrow pointing up by a location on a map.

Adult participants who had
at least one occupational
exposure to PFAS in the past
20 years had higher PFHxS,

Arrow pointing down next to a woman breastfeeding a child

People who breastfed had
lower blood levels of PFOS
than women who did not.

Virtual Information Session

CDC and ATSDR invite all residents of Moose Creek, Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska to attend a virtual information session to learn more about the results of the PFAS exposure assessment. Experts will also answer community questions.

June 7, 2022
6:00 p.m. AKDT
To register, go to: https://bit.ly/MooseCreekEAMtg

You may also join by phone:
+1-855-797-9485 US Toll free
+1-415-655-0002 US Toll
Access code: 2436 665 2645

ATSDR staff will also host small, online meetings to answer questions.

Small Group Meetings:

  • In-person: Moose Creek Fire Station 5, 3483 Old Richardson Hwy, North Pole, AK 99705
    Wednesday, June 8, 2022:  8am – 10am and 7pm – 9pm AKDT
    Thursday, June 9, 2022: 12pm – 2pm and 5:30pm – 7:30pm AKDT
  • Online:
    Tuesday, June 14, 2022: 2pm – 3pm AKDT

Those interested in participating are encouraged to sign up here: https://bit.ly/MooseCreekEASmallMtg