Bloomberg Law
June 23, 2020, 7:27 PM

Firefighters Face New Possible Risk From Toxic PFAS: Their Gear

Andrew Wallender
Andrew Wallender

Waterproofing chemicals in the protective gear worn by firefighters may be exposing them to “significant quantities” of potentially toxic fluorochemicals, according to a new study from the University of Notre Dame.

The research is some of the first to show PFAS chemicals present in firefighting gear, establishing a new exposure point for the substances. Previous research has linked use of some firefighting foams to elevated concentrations of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in firefighters’ bloodstreams.

“The amazing thing is that nobody knew this,” said Graham F. Peaslee, a professor of experimental nuclear physics at the University of Notre Dame ...

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