PFAS Exposure Risks at Airports and Firefighter Training Facilities in Puerto Rico and Across the Region
The industrial hygiene professionals at Zimmetry Environmental provide testing and consulting services to identify PFAS and other chemical hazards to protect workers, the public and the environment.
Bayamon, Puerto Rico -- Earlier this year it was reported that the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, the entity responsible for operations, administration and maintenance of the Tampa International Airport, filed a lawsuit against firefighting foam manufacturers. The lawsuit alleges negligence as many of the foams contain “forever chemicals” known as poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that have contaminated local airports.
PFAS chemicals have come under growing scrutiny in recent times. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that many chemicals in this group, including perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), are a concern because they do not break down in the environment, can move through soils and contaminate drinking water sources, and they build up (bioaccumulate) in animals. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “At high concentrations, certain PFAS have been linked to adverse health effects in laboratory animals that may reflect associations between exposure to these chemicals and some health problems such as low birth weight, delayed puberty onset, elevated cholesterol levels and reduced immunologic responses to vaccination.”
In addition to firefighting foams, which have been a major source of groundwater contamination at airports, military bases and other locations where firefighter training takes place, EPA reports that PFAS can be found in:
· Food packaged in PFAS-containing materials, processed with equipment that used PFAS or grown in PFAS-contaminated soil or water.
· Commercial household products, including stain- and water-repellent fabrics, nonstick products, polishes, waxes, paints and cleaning products.
· Workplaces, including production facilities or industries (e.g., chrome plating, electronics manufacturing or oil recovery) that use PFAS.
· Drinking water, typically localized and associated with a specific facility (e.g., manufacturer, landfill, wastewater treatment plant, firefighter training facility).
· Living organisms, including fish, animals and humans.
“In September, the Governor of California signed a new law that bans firefighting foams and personal protective equipment from containing PFAS beginning in 2022,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “Over time, this will likely be duplicated in other states and territories. Due to PFAS concerns, the industrial hygiene and environmental professionals at Zimmetry offer testing, monitoring and consulting services to protect workers, the public and the environment from exposures risks to these chemicals and many other hazardous substances. These services are available in Puerto Rico and throughout the region.”
Zimmetry has also sponsored an educational video about PFAS and exposure risks that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/skLIprCGeX4
To learn more about Zimmetry and their environmental and industrial hygiene testing, compliance and consulting services, please visit www.zimmetry.com, call (787) 995.0005 or email email@example.com.
About Zimmetry Environmental
Since 2002, Zimmetry Environmental has been providing environmental consulting services to building owners and managers, architects, engineers, EHS professionals and Fortune 500 companies. The company is based in Puerto Rico and provides services across the Caribbean and Central America. The professionals at Zimmetry offer environmental compliance, indoor air quality, asbestos, lead-based paint, Phase I ESAs and general environmental consulting services.