ST. PAUL - The Minnesota Department of Health says levels of contaminants continue to decline in the blood of longtime residents of the eastern Twin Cities.

The findings released Tuesday come a decade after officials took steps to filter the chemicals out of the east metro's drinking water.

According to the Health Department, levels of perfluorochemicals, or PFCs, in the blood of longtime eastern Twin Cities residents have dropped by 35 percent to 60 percent since 2008.

Investigator Jessica Nelson says PFC levels in east metro residents are still above the U.S. average but are "getting closer."

PFCs once manufactured by 3M Co. were found in the water in several eastern Twin Cities suburbs. Filtration systems were installed on public and private water pumps in 2006.