Queensland offers firefighters free bloodtest as part of PFOA study

Published:  12 May, 2017

Firefighters in Queensland worried about exposure to toxic chemicals in firefighting foams can now access free blood tests after the Queensland Government signed a policy in May offering the tests as part of a study into the long-term effects of the PFOS and PFOA.

The chemicals, found in aqueous film-forming foams, have been implicated in a number of contamination cases across Australia, and the Queensland study will make blood tests available to all past and present firefighters in the state. The Queensland Fire and Emergency Service has been offering free blood tests since the end of 2016, but it is not known how many firefighters have been tested.

The blood tests will identify the presence of the chemicals in firefighters’ blood and the results will become part of a baseline study looking into the effects on human health. While they have been linked with various forms of cancer as well as other illness, both the Queensland and federal governments maintain there is no consistent evidence of adverse impact on health. The study could shed more light on the longer-term ramifications for those exposed. 

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