Read the full article by Mark Strassmann (CBS)

Waxhaw, North Carolina — For America’s firefighters, the irony is jarring. Chemical foam that they’ve sprayed on fires for decades to protect others was a hidden threat to them. 

The foam concentrate comes in five-gallon buckets, laced with polyfluoroalkyl substances — also called PFAS — which are man-made chemicals that are water-repellent, virtually indestructible and dangerous if inhaled or absorbed into the body. 

The Environmental Protection Agency limits the safe threshold for exposure to two of the most common PFAS (PFOA and PFOS) to nearly zero, or less than one part per trillion. But firefighting foam, known as AFFF, contains concentrations of 10 million parts per trillion — more than a thousand times higher than EPA guidance — according to Amy Dindal, PFAS program manager for Battelle, a scientific nonprofit that has developed promising technology to eliminate the problem.” …