Read the full article by Judd Boaz (ABC News)
“A world-first study involving hundreds of Victorian firefighters shows regular blood donations could reduce the level of potentially harmful chemicals in their bodies.
The trial, conducted by Macquarie University over 12 months, measured the effect of blood donation on levels of per-fluoroalkyl and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the body.
PFAS is a broad name for 4,700 chemicals that have widespread use in everyday life, from non-stick cookware to carpets and clothing.
Historically, PFAS have also been used in firefighting foams, meaning firefighters are the most occupationally exposed cohort to the chemicals.
Previously there was no way to reduce the amount of PFAS in the body.
Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) Assistant Chief Fire Officer Mick Tisbury said the results of the study were a triumph against the odds.
‘We’ve done it. Everybody said it couldn’t be done and we’ve been able to get these toxic chemicals out of our bodies,’ Mr Tisbury said.
‘Don’t ever tell a firefighter something is too hard to achieve, because that’s what we do every single day of the week, we come up with solutions and that’s what we’ve done here.’
PFAS have been correlationally linked to thyroid issues, low fetus weight, endocrine disruption and various forms of cancer.
…The $1.2 million clinical trial involved 285 FRV staff and contractors with elevated levels of perfluorooctane sulfonate, a commonly detected type of PFAS, in their systems.
Trial participants donated blood or plasma at either six or 12 week intervals for a year, with their PFAS levels measured before, during and after the 12-month period.
The results showed a 10 per cent decrease in PFAS levels after blood donation, and a 30 per cent reduction following plasma donations.
‘It’s not an instant solution because it’s got to be spread out of a period of time to be efficacious, but we can see the results from the study,’ Professor Taylor said.”…