Australian Defence was warned 30 years ago that the chemicals
in its firefighting foam should be handled as a toxic waste...
[ They are mostly used for regular fire fighting practice/training. ]
“Stop trying to downplay the seriousness of this issue.
They are incredibly serious toxins, and it is a real
worry for those people living around them”.
- Mariann Lloyd-Smith,
National Toxics Network Senior Advisor
It has rendered some farm land unusable, property
values have plummeted, and residents have
been unable to drink their bore water.
The bonding of two chemicals – being fluorine and carbon in 1940
seemed to be a huge break through for many new processes,
however the health risks were found some time later.
These products have been banned in 171 countries
though not yet banned in Australia. ?
2 Aug 2019
…Labor and the Greens have moved to force the Morrison government to
hand over its response to the parliamentary inquiry into toxic
firefighting foam contamination. It has been eight months
since Queensland MP Andrew Laming, who chaired
the inquiry, broke Liberal ranks making an
emotional speech in parliament calling
on the Coalition government to
Fluorides are “Protected Pollutants” in Australia!
If the truth about this chemical had not been covered up
for so long the problems listed below may never have occurred.
Legislation is always years behind when the environment is involved.
Governments are slow to deal with hazardous chemicals
– far too slow for our environment…
French Barracuda-class submarine
In May of 2009, PFOS was added to Annex B of the
↓ Notice the ‘F’s. for Fluoride ↓
The RAAF once used harmless,
environmentally friendly, fermented blood
and bone, and liquorice to make fire fighting foam.
It was also great to make the grass grow, I know, I used it!
30 [+] Aust. Defence Bases Contaminated With (PFOA)
“There appears to be more concern being shown to landholders
who have had their land contaminated by AFFF (PFOS)
than concern for the mental health and wellbeing
of the serving members who handled this
concentrated product…“ ↓ ↓ ↓
“… some studies suggest that almost every person on Earth
has them in their bloodstream, which gives some
indication of The scale of the problem…”
Denis O’Carroll said this is important as where other contaminants
might stay in water or soil, PFAS are extremely stable and can
travel easily from water to soil to animals to fish to humans.
The ‘F.’ Word, is OK in Europe ⇓
Dr. Mariann Lloyd-Smith
The new levels issued by the EPA in the US are 0.07 parts per BILLION
for both PFOA and PFOS. Both chemicals have been linked
with a range of disorders, including thyroid issues,
pregnancy complications and high cholesterol.
EPA report also details possible connection between
PFOS and bladder, colon and prostate cancer.
HER MORE RECENT COMMENTS
“National Toxics Network and International POPs Elimination
Network senior adviser Mariann Lloyd-Smith said the chemicals
– PFOS, PFOA or PFHxS – previously used in some firefighting foams were
toxic and bio-accumulative–building up in all living organisms including humans,
were intergenerational, being passed from mother to child and capable of long
range transport and thus found in the Arctic and Antarctic. ‘Most importantly,
they are so persistent, they have no way of breaking down so what is
released to the environment is with us for all time,’ she said.”
Fairfax Media can now reveal that Professor Giesy was accused
of covertly doing 3M’s bidding in a widespread international campaign
to suppress academic research on the dangers of PFAS chemicals. ⇓
As of July 2019, EWG and Northeastern University have mapped out
712 PFAS contamination sites across 49 states in the U.S.
‘…with an assumption that water accounts for 20% of total exposure.
Given that the two contaminants may occur together, and their
effects are similar, it is recommended that the combined
concentration in drinking water should not exceed
0.070 μg/L. [70 parts per trillion]…’
[ Issue 82 - July 2016 ]
Plasma Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Concentration
and Menstrual Cycle Characteristics in Preconception Women
Wei Zhou,1* Lulu Zhang,2,3* Chuanliang Tong,4 Fang Fang,1 Shasha Zhao,1 Ying Tian,1 Yexuan Tao,2,3 Jun Zhang1 and for the Shanghai Birth Cohort Study
Our study found that increased exposure to PFOA, PFOS, PFNA, and PFHxS was associated with higher odds of irregular and long menstrual cycle and lower risks of menorrhagia in women who plan to be pregnant. In contrast, women with higher levels of PFOA, PFNA, and PFHxS were more likely to have hypomenorrhea.
…Full text »→ HERE ←« Important
↑ Not good bedtime reading! ↑
Per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made fluoride based chemicals that have been widely used since the 1950s, in household and industrial products that resist, oil, stains, heat, grease and water. This includes non-stick cookware, food packaging, stain protection applications to fabric, furniture and carpet, and firefighting foams. Since 1970, firefighting foams containing PFAS were used extensively in Australia and elsewhere due to their effectiveness in fighting liquid fuel fires.
PFOA and PFOS are the best known members of a group of manmade chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFASs. Highly fluorinated chemicals are unrivalled in their utility because their carbon fluorine bond is nearly unbreakable under natural conditions. When chains of carbon-fluorine bonds are linked together, they form water- and oil-resistant coatings on clothing, carpets, and cookware that will not wash away, dissipate with extreme heat, or fade in sunlight over extended use.
The same basic carbon-fluorine chains can also create robust firefighting products able to withstand, and even extinguish, the blazes of scorching aircraft fires. But the durability that make these chemicals useful also makes them a concern. They persist in the environment for thousands of years, affecting us and future generations as an everlasting legacy.
“The Australian Federal Government should not use toxic
fire fighting foam.” Research completed by US, lawyer -
- Isobel Roe - 26 Sep. 2016
The Australian Government is wasting time and money by failing to acknowledge US studies into a toxic foam chemical, a US lawyer who led a class action against the makers of the toxin has said.
The chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) was in a firefighting foam that has leeched into groundwater beneath at least 30 Australian Defence bases including the Oakey Aviation Base on the Darling Downs.
It has rendered some farm land unusable, property values have plummeted, and residents have been unable to drink their bore water.
The same chemical was contained in Teflon and found in a West Virginian Town Water Supply the late 1990s, sparking legal action against Teflon manufacturer DuPont, and eventually won a $US70 million settlement for almost 70,000 people who might have been exposed to the contaminated water.
Kentucky-based lawyer Robert Bilott brought the class action on behalf of the residents and said he had been watching Australia’s response to the growing contamination issue with interest.
“A lot of time and a lot of resources can be saved by the fact that a lot of this very complicated and expensive research has already been done,” Mr Bilott said.
“I think it would be important to take advantage of the data that already exists so it’s not a delayed response to folks who are drinking this.”
Six diseases linked to PFOA: US study finds
The Australian Defence Department maintains there is no strong links between PFOA and serious human health effects.
Queensland Health advice said adverse health effects had been found in animals but not in humans.[?]
But as part of the US class action, an independent scientific panel spent more than $US30 million studying the chemical and its human health effects.
“One of the things that was remarkable about it was they ended up getting blood data from 69,000 people in that community,” Mr Bilott said.
“They ended up concluding that there was six disease linked to drinking this chemical in your water for over a year and that was kidney cancer, testicular cancer, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, preeclampsia and high cholesterol.
“And that data is out there.”
Mr Bilott also raised concerns about Australia’s drinking guidelines for the chemical.
An independent review by a toxicologist released earlier this month found Australia should maintain its standards for the chemical, despite a decision by the United States Environment Protection Agency to dramatically lower what it considered safe.
“It’s the same chemical, it’s the same science and it’s the same knowledge, so I’m not quite sure why there would be any distinction,” Mr Bilott said.
A frequently asked questions document on the Defence Department website said the United States health study could not be used in Australia. [?]
“The findings of this health study could have been impacted by many location- and population-specific factors [for example, routes of exposure, background conditions and lifestyle factors], which cannot necessarily be translated to the Oakey community,” the document read.
“In addition, many factors can influence a person’s health and therefore it is challenging to link a person’s health issue unequivocally to PFOS [perfluorooctane sulfonate] and PFOA exposure.”
The Federal Government is undertaking its own epidemiological study of the human health effects of the PFOA chemical. [?]
The New Asbestos!
PROBLEMS WITH AUSTRALIAN MILITARY FIRE FIGHTING CHEMICALS:
It was revealed in September 2015
The chemicals had leaked from Williamtown Air Force base into ground and surfacewater, prompting bans on bore water and closing fishing grounds. “Stop trying to downplay the seriousness of this issue. They are incredibly serious toxins, and it is a real worry for those people living around them.-”
Mariann Lloyd-Smith, National Toxics Network senior advisor. – The New South Wales
Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has started a statewide investigation into the historical use of the firefighting foam.
The Unfolding Scandal of Toxic Water in Australian Communities:
Some say this is the worst pollution in Australia’s history,
but all the Australian
media, except »→ ABC TV ’Four Corners’ ←« are ignoring it !
↑ WATCH ↑
The “Protected Pollutant” - The ‘FLUORIDE’ word was NOT mentioned by the ABC ? The Federal Government could face compensation claims across New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory, after the Department of Defence admitted it was slow to warn people about groundwater contamination from Army Air Bases.
A lawyer leading the class action in the southern Queensland town of Oakey said he would soon head to the NT town of Katherine to speak to locals about a joint lawsuit there in the wake of this week’s revelations on the ABC’s Four Corners program.
On the program, a Defence official admitted they should have issued warnings three years earlier about toxic firefighting foam pollution from Army bases. The department said the cost to taxpayers to clean up the problem nationwide would likely amount to hundreds of millions of dollars.
About 500 people are part of a class action in Oakey, where the toxic compounds PFOS and PFOA [ which contain fluoride ] have spread into groundwater and soil on surrounding properties.
In NSW, residents near the RAAF Williamtown base launched their own class action last year.
Fluorides are “Protected Pollutants”
The use of the “F” word is censored in
the Australian media. Fluorides can only
be refer to in glowing terms and associated
with “dental health” ! ! !
Professor Nicholas Buckley
He has been handed a Poisoned Chalice.
We all wish him well here at
‘Fluoridation Queensland’ – Previously known as:
We do not envy him his job. He will have
interference from the dental lobby,
or some resistance. Fluoride
is their sacred cow !
EPA Victoria – April 2019
“The environmental and potential human health impacts
from exposure to a group of manufactured chemicals
known as PFAS (per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances)
are of increasing concern worldwide.”
[ Note: The ‘F’ word – Fluoride, is not mentioned? ]
…..At least 4,700 PFAS variants ↑are ↑ available on the global market.
NOTICE ALL THE ‘Fs’ ↑ ↑ ↑ & here ↓ ↓ ↓
NOTICE ALL THE ‘fluoro’s here ↓ ↓ ↓
‘Biological Cleavage of the C–P Bond in
Perfluoroalkyl Phosphinic Acids in
Male Sprague-Dawley Rats and
the Formation of Persistent
and Reactive Metabolites’
→ HERE ←
Spanish Research - Nov 2017 ⇓
Exposure to Perfluoroalkyl Substances and Metabolic Outcomes in Pregnant Women:
Evidence from the Spanish INMA Birth Cohorts
Full Report ⇒ HERE
PHOTO: The view towards Fullerton Cove, one of the areas affected by contamination, from Fern Bay. (1233 ABC Newcastle: Robert Virtue)
A toxic chemicals campaigner says it is misleading to claim the health impacts of firefighting foam at the centre of the Williamtown water contamination are not yet understood.
The chemicals, PFOS and PFOA, have also been discovered at two Fire and Rescue NSW training bases in Sydney’s west and in the Illawarra.
Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) are man-made chemicals belonging to the group known as perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs).
It was revealed in September 2015 the chemicals had leaked from Williamtown Air Force base into ground and surface water, prompting bans on bore water and closing fishing grounds.
“Stop trying to downplay the seriousness of this issue. They are incredibly serious toxins, and it is a real worry for those people living around them”.
- Mariann Lloyd-Smith, National Toxics Network Senior Advisor
Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has started a statewide investigation into the historical use of the firefighting foam.
The EPA said its investigation into PFOS and PFOA will focus on sites where the chemicals may have been used in large quantities including airports, firefighting training facilities and industrial sites.
In a statement last month, Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) said international research was yet to fully understand the ecological impacts, if any, and there was “no proven direct link to any adverse health effects”.
Commissioner Greg Mullins said FRNSW withdrew the use of these foams for both firefighting and training progressively until they were fully eliminated in 2007 as information emerged on possible hazards associated with PFCs.
But National Toxics Network senior advisor Mariann Lloyd-Smith said there was a wealth of evidence.
“To say that we don’t fully understand or there’s not a direct proven link is misleading,” she said.
“One can only wonder if it’s an attempt to protect their liability.
“People need to know these are incredibly serious toxins.
“These are chemicals that we really need to address quickly, with as much precaution as we possibly can to protect humans and, of course, the wildlife and the environment.”
Dr Lloyd-Smith is urging the Fire and Rescue NSW to stop downplaying the impacts of the firefighting foam.
She said she had a message for the Commissioner Greg Mullins.
“Stop trying to downplay the seriousness of this issue,” she said.
“They are incredibly serious toxins, and it is a real worry for those people living around them.
“Warn the population, start working out how you’re going to be able to compensate people, start protecting your population, which is really the job,” Dr Lloyd-Smith said.
Staff and community highest priority, Commissioner said
In a statement on Thursday, FRNSW said it “is consulting with the Department of Health and the Fire Brigade Employees Union whilst taking a cautious, measured approach”.
“The safety of our staff and the community are our highest priority,” Commissioner Mullins said.
“Together with the EPA we have arranged for more comprehensive testing, with results expected to take several more weeks.
“FRNSW will work with a range of other agencies including local councils, water authorities, Department of Health, and NSW EPA to ensure any potential risk of PFC contamination outside of the training sites is identified and limited.
“We will act immediately on any expert advice concerning health or environmental impacts,” he said.
PFOAs And Newborns
In 2007, the shocking results of a study conducted at the John Hopkin’s Medical Centre
(Bethesda, MD) showed that levels of the toxic PFOA were found in 100%
of a sample of almost 300 newborns, delivered at the hospital.
Samples of umbilical chord blood were also shown to contain varying levels of PFOS.
Asians (6 ng/ml) had the highest concentration, followed by Blacks (5.1 ng/ml)
and Whites (4.2 ng/ml).
Males babies had higher PFOS and PFOA than females.
Obese and underweight mothers had slightly higher concentrations than
women of normal weight.
Other studies have found that some of the highest levels of
PFOA and PFOS have been in children.
PFOS & PFOA In The Environment
Contamination of Australian Defence Force Facilities and other
Commonwealth, State and Territory Sites in Australia – Submission 34
Submission to the Senate Inquiry into AFFF Contamination at RAAF Base Williamtown
…In relation to pollution and contamination, the environmental policy developed at this time (2001-2003) recognised there was a 200-year legacy of contaminated sites on and off the Defence estate. Literally thousands of instances of legacy contamination were already known to exist at Defence sites (many of which dated from WWII) – including contamination arising from ordnance use (conventional and chemical), landfills and burial pits, fuel leaks, chemicals (including cocktails of hydrocarbon solvents), metals – including mercury, and even radioactive materials. In this context, it was not the case that there was a shortage of issues that needed to be dealt with – the risk posed by fugitive AFFF was one of the many being considered at the time.
During 2002 I had several conversations and received reports from my regional environmental colleagues and other personnel located at Defence sites, about fish-kills that had been observed following the accidental, incidental or deliberate release of fire fighting foam into aquatic environments.
Testing and training practices and/or maintenance of critical fire fighting equipment would occur routinely at many Defence sites, often as part of a daily, weekly or periodic routine. This equipment included the familiar aviation fire trucks, as well as the automated fire protection systems built into aircraft hangars.
At that time these reports related to RAAF Base Richmond and RAAF Base Amberley where I recall fish kills had been observed, on occasions, in Rickebys Creek (Richmond) and Warrill Creek (Amberley), that adjoin these sites… »⇒ MORE
PFOS and PFOA are increasingly being phased out of modern foams.
Concentrations in human blood appear to be decreasing in the
US, although they are still rising in China. Today they remain
significant residual contaminants at many sites globally,
for example, at many of the world’s 49,000 airports
including 450 civilian and military
airports in Australia.