University of Arizona Health Sciences Researchers study health risk of a group of chemicals in firefighter foam and protective gear

  • Source: University of Arizona Health Sciences
  • Published: 02/10/2020 02:46 PM

A growing concern exists in the fire service about exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a group of synthetic, fluorinated chemicals used worldwide since the 1940s. This concern has prompted calls for the removal of these chemicals from firefighter foam, and an evaluation of potential exposures from protective gear worn by firefighters. To advance knowledge on exposure to PFAS chemicals and the associated health risks, researchers from the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health received a $1.5 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to lead a study of occupational exposures among firefighters. PFAS can be found in a wide range of consumer products people use every day, such as upholstery, insulation, electronics, cleaning products, pizza boxes, fabrics and non-stick cookware.


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