MDHHS launches project to probe firefighter PFAS exposure

Lansing — Michigan is launching a new project dedicated to investigating firefighter exposure to PFAS chemicals as part of an effort to establish safety protocols, the state said. 

The “PFAS in Firefighters of Michigan Surveillance” program has started recruiting career and volunteer firefighters who work for airport fire stations as well as randomly selected fire department across the state, according to a release from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

More than 30,000 gallons of liquids containing so-called “forever chemicals” have been collected under a Michigan disposal program

“The findings will help inform activities to minimize firefighters’ exposure to PFAS,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS, said in a statement. “Emerging science continues to reveal the effects that PFAS can have on human health, and the firefighters who participate in the PFOMS project will contribute to our understanding of PFAS exposure among firefighters.”

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, more commonly known as PFAS, is a chemical found in Class B firefighting foams used to fight fires involving gasoline, oil, and jet fuel. 

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