Australian study shows blood donations may decrease PFAS in firefighters' bodies

The firefighters who donated blood had a 10% decrease in PFAS, and those who donated plasma had a 30% reduction


By Leila Merrill

SYDNEY — A study involving Australian firefighters showed that regular blood donations may reduce the levels of poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in their bodies, ABC reported.

The clinical trial involved 285 Fire Rescue Victoria staff members and contractors with elevated levels of perfluorooctane sulfonate, a commonly detected type of PFAS, in their bodies.

A clinical trial involving 285 Fire Rescue Victoria staff members and contractors had promising results.
A clinical trial involving 285 Fire Rescue Victoria staff members and contractors had promising results. (Photo/Fire Rescue Victoria)

The participants donated blood or plasma at intervals of 6 or 12 weeks for a year. Their PFAS levels were measured before, during and after the year.

The firefighters who donated blood had a 10% decrease in PFAS, and those who donated plasma had a 30% reduction.

Environmental scientist Mark Taylor, co-author of the study, said the health benefits of removing PFAS are undetermined, but he sees a huge psychological impact on the firefighters.

"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," Taylor said.

Fire Rescue Victoria Assistant Chief Fire Officer Mick Tisbury said the study’s results are a triumph.

"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," 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."

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