A recent www.adelaidenow.com.au article has brought to the public attention the dangers of chemicals PFOS, PFOA and the impact they are now having on the lives of firefighters and could now affect everyday people through the groundwater impact on drinking water, soil, and irrigation of our farm produce.
These chemicals are echoing the devastating story already experienced with asbestos and DDT. Once thought of as harmless chemicals their long reaching danger is only just being discovered and brought to the public’s attention. Chemicals recently found in Adelaide’s Northern suburbs has prompted three leading Universities, The Defence Department and Sailsbury Council to team up with Puratap to trial new ways to remove toxic chemicals from the groundwater.
Last April, The Defence Department began soil, ground water, surface and sediment testing on and around the Edinburgh RAAF base and found the presence of, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). These chemicals found in fire fighting foams, were used at the Edinburgh base until 2004 however has been more recently in public eye due to long term effects. The use of these toxic fire fighting foams at defence bases, airports, and fire stations have now been found to have leached into groundwater and soil, at dozens of sites across Australia.
In May the federal health department released a report into the health effects of these chemicals
- Increased levels of cholesterol in the blood
- Increased levels of uric acid in the blood
- Reduced kidney function
- Alterations in some indicators of immune response
- Altered levels of thyroid hormones and sex hormones
- Later age for starting menstruation in girls, and earlier menopause
- Lower birth weight in babies
Puratap is incredibly proud to be part of a world-leading effort and a State Government grant working with universities, council and the defence force in a one-year trial into PFOS and PFOA removal methods. Together they will look at new strategies to remove harmful chemicals from wetlands, groundwater and surface water and also develop high-performance filters for domestic use.
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