Community Action Works
Community Action Works

Decades after contamination: Hope and Joanne’s story

Hope Grosse and Joanne Stanton grew up right next to the Naval Air Development Center in Warminster, Pennsylvania.

Back then, they used to play in the firefighting foam that people who worked on the bases would spray out of big hoses for the neighborhood kids.

They didn’t know until decades later that the toxic chemicals in that foam had poisoned their drinking water and their families.


The firefighting foam used at the base contained PFAS, the toxic ‘forever’ chemical known to cause cancer, kidney disease, and other serious health problems. It leaked into the ground, then groundwater, and then found its way to neighbors’ wells.

At the age of 25, Hope was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Joanne’s oldest son, at the age of six, was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor.

“My exposure may have actually caused cancer in my child.”
– Joanne Stanton

Hope and Joanne founded BuxMont Coalition for Safer Water in Warminster, Pennsylvania to stop this contamination crisis and help poisoned families cope with the aftermath.

Now, they’re also leaders in a national coalition of 34 impacted communities in 17 states, and they’re calling on President Biden to make ending the PFAS contamination crisis a priority in the first weeks of his administration.

Decades after contamination started, Hope and Joanne are still dealing with the impacts on their health and their families.

“I fear for the future of my children, understanding that these chemicals can cross the placenta.”
– Hope Grosse

As the Biden administration begins their work, we’re ready to fight for real change. You make this work possible—thank you.

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