The Gladstone Ports Corporation has recorded a record amount of tonnages for the 2015-16 year.
The Gladstone Ports Corporation has recorded a record amount of tonnages for the 2015-16 year. CHRISSY HARRIS

GPC reveals high level of chemicals found in water

MORE testing will take place over the next few months after high levels of chemicals were found in the water at Gladstone Port and the Port of Bundaberg.

The chemical poly-fluoroalkyl (PFAS), is believed to come from fire hose foam.

While drinking water won't be affected for residents, health experts warn that PFAS is linked with increased risk of testicular and kidney cancer.

Samples from the Port of Rockhampton have not exceeded their PFAS guidelines.

Concerned Gladstone residents will be able to have their bores tested for any contamination.

The bore water can be contaminated by minerals, chemicals, bacteria and viruses through natural processes and human activities.

Testing of bores is needed to confirm water quality before it is used for domestic purposes, such as watering gardens or filling swimming pools.

GPC chief executive, Peter O'Sullivan said the corporation's priority was to conduct further sampling and modelling to understand the nature and extent of PFAS, within the Port precinct.

"GPC is working closely with independent experts as well as the State Government's PFAS technical working group, the Department of Environment and Science and Queensland Health," he said.

"We wish to assure residents that these results do not relate to water connected to town supplies used by Gladstone and Bundaberg residents for drinking.

"No groundwater at the Ports is used for human consumption."

Further information on PFAS in Queensland is available on the State Government website

Mr O'Sullivan said GPC was committed to keeping the community informed as investigations progress.

PFAS has been widely used since the 1950s in consumer and industrial products that resist heat, oil, stains, grease and water.

It was widely used in firefighting foam at various Australian sites, including civil airports, military air bases, large fuel storage terminals, refineries and ports.

In 2016, the Queensland Government began phasing out the use of firefighting foams containing per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances.

This process is due to be completed by July 2019.

An expert health panel set up in 2017 concluded that there was no increase in overall cancer risk but most concerning was a possible link with increased risk of testicular and kidney cancer.

The panel found the scientific evidence on the relationship between PFAS exposure and health effects was limited, but although links to health effects was "weak and inconsistent" it couldn't be ruled out based on the current evidence.