New Castle County (DE) near New Castle Air National Guard Base


The sampling frame for the New Castle exposure assessment includes customers of the Artesianexternal icon and Municipal Services Commission (MSC)external icon water supply systems.  Identification and mitigation of PFAS in these water systems occurred in separate but parallel paths as outlined in the figure below. The eligibility dates have been updated to better reflect the timeline of past exposures to PFAS via drinking water.

Selected households are eligible to participate if they have resided in the sampling area for one year prior to the following eligibility dates:


The New Castle Air National Guard Base used aqueous film forming foam containing PFAS for firefighting training in the past. Groundwater sources used for drinking water in areas east and southeast of the base were contaminated with PFAS. Residents who may have been affected include those who live in and near the City of New Castle.

In 2014, two drinking water systems serving the New Castle area, Artesian Water and Municipal Services Commission (MSC) of the City of New Castle, were found to contain PFAS levels exceeding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) health advisory.

After receiving the PFAS test results, both water systems upgraded their systems to reduce PFAS exposures, including installation of granular activated carbon (GAC) filtration systems. In 2017, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control reported that the GAC filtration systems had reduced levels of two specific PFAS, PFOS and PFOA, below the EPA health advisory.

Some PFAS stay in people’s bodies for a long time so we will still be able to measure them even if the exposures stopped years ago

Participating in an exposure assessment will help you and your community better understand the extent of environmental exposures to PFAS. A random selection of households impacted by PFAS in their drinking water will be identified. If your household is selected to participate, you will receive a letter in the mail from CDC/ATSDR explaining the exposure assessment and registration process. You will also get a phone call from a representative who can answer questions and register you and other members of your household interested in participating. Household members are eligible if they are 3 years of age or older, do not have a bleeding disorder and are not anemic, and they have lived in the sampling area for one year prior to August 5, 2014 (for MS customers), or July 18, 2016 (for Artesian customers).  Inclusion of children in the exposure assessment is dependent on parent or legal guardian consent.

Sampling Area

CDC/ATSDR began an exposure assessment in New Castle in late summer 2019. Recruitment of participants took approximately 6 weeks. After that, CDC/ATSDR was in New Castle County from October 16 through October 26, 2019 to test participants.

Currently, CDC/ATSDR are analyzing environmental and biological samples in New Castle County. Individual results will be mailed to participants as soon as is possible. CDC/ATSDR will write a final report summarizing the findings and recommendations for the community and present the results at a public meeting.

Information session

CDC/ATSDR held an information session to answer questions from the community, listen to concerns, and promote transparency and understanding.

August 26, 2019
5:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
Presentation will start at 6:00 p.m.

New Castle Historical Society
30 Market Street
New Castle, DE 19720

For More Information 
For information on work being done in New Castle, DE, contact Karl Markiewicz PhD., Senior Toxicologist/Regional Liaison, 215-814-3149,

Page last reviewed: December 18, 2019