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Environment & Energy Report

Firefighters’ Gear Presents New Possible Risk From Toxic PFAS

June 24, 2020, 10:55 AM

Firefighters’ protective gear contains waterproofing chemicals that may be exposing them to “significant quantities” of potentially toxic fluorochemicals, a new study says.

New Research: The University of Notre Dame 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.

Safer Alternatives: The chemicals are used in the form of fluoropolymers, a form of PFAS, to make gear water- and oil-resistant. But PFAS also persist in the...

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