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Biomonitoring project will assess Michigan firefighters' PFAS exposure

MDHHS Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.png
Posted at 11:19 AM, May 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-12 11:19:51-04

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services recently launched a multi-year project to assess firefighters’ exposure to PFAS in firefighting foams used to fight fires involving gasoline, oil and jet fuel.

Findings from the PFAS in Firefighters of Michigan Surveillance project will help inform activities to minimize exposure, said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive at MDHHS.

“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,” Khaldun said.

The project is currently in the process of recruiting career and volunteer firefighters who work for airport fire stations in Michigan, as well as randomly selected municipal fire departments across the state.

Seven departments will participate in the first year of the project:

  • ACW Unionville Fire Department (Tuscola County)
  • Alcona Township Fire Department (Alcona County)
  • Cambridge Township Fire Department (Lenawee County)
  • Capital City Airport Department of Public Safety (Ingham County)
  • Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport Fire Department (Wayne County)
  • Dorr Township Fire Department (Allegan County)
  • Rochester Hills Fire Department (Oakland County)

MDHHS plans to recruit between 600 and 900 firefighters to participate over the next three years.

The PFAS biomonitoring project launched April 28, starting with the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport Fire Department.

It’ll cost about $1 million and is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and MDHHS.