Not much has changed for Shoalhaven residents concerned about PFAS contamination, despite community meetings held by the Department of Defence this week.
Meetings were held at HMAS Albatross on Wednesday, July 17 and at Jervis Bay on Thursday, July 18 to discuss human health risk assessments, ecological assessments and site management plans.
Jack Hampton, a resident of Jervis Bay for 60 years, worked with PFAS chemicals as a firefighter for 31 years.
After the meeting he said not enough was being done for the health of residents exposed to the chemicals.
"I'm not feeling confident about the feedback they've given me," he said.
"It never reassured me because they haven't done enough research on it."
Although the attendance at the walk-in sessions were sparse, other people's worries echoed Jack's concerns about PFAS' potential health implications.
Assistant secretary PFAS investigation and management Department of Defence Luke McLeod said the community's exposure risk was low.
"Essentially from a human heath risk assessment perspective, generally, the majority of people are in low and acceptable risks," he said.
"There are some elevated exposures particularly around Mary Creek, Captains Lagoon fall, the Wreck Bay community.
"We know the primary exposure pathway for people is through drinking contaminated water, we've tested the water supply and we're pleased to be able to report that there's no impact of PFAS on that water (in the Jervis Bay area).
"For HMAS Albatross our human health risk assessment identified a number of exposure scenarios, the majority of which were low and acceptable.
"There were a couple of potential exposure level scenarios ... people with a bore on their property and the bore is their primary source of drinking water.
"We're not aware of anyone in the HMAS Albatross area that's in that position."
The Environmental Health Standing Committee (enHealth) issued warnings about eating seafood from Mary Creek, Flat Rock Creek or Captains Lagoon and for children drinking water and playing in Mary Creek remain in place.
No information was provided to the community about how long those warnings would remain.
"It's not appropriate for defence to comment on how long they'll be in place; it's really our responsibility to make sure we're starting to do remediation actions," Mr McLeod said.
PFAS chemicals are bioaccumulative - they do not break down in the environment, and are predominantly spread from contamination sites with water movement.
Stress and anxiety can be as damaging to people's health as exposure to these chemicals.Luke McLeod
The half-life of PFAS chemicals in the human body is about seven years, Mr McLeod said.
"If you minimise your exposure, you will excrete the chemicals over time," he said.
He also said, despite the best efforts of defence, occasional accidental contamination of the environment was unavoidable. He claimed that stress could be as damaging to the human body as PFAS exposure.
"Organisations like defence ... take our environment management responsibilities seriously," he said.
"Every now and then you will have an accidental release. Sometimes these things do just occur.
"It's hard for me to comment on health impacts. It's important that we don't over hype these incidents. Stress and anxiety can be as damaging to peoples health as exposure to these chemicals."
Mr McLeod said he was unable to comment on the recent Sikorsky PFAS spill.