Clinical trial to reduce PFAS in blood a world first

A parliamentary inquiry into PFAS remediation in and around Defence bases will hear on Monday about a world first study being conducted to reduce PFAS levels in blood.

Chair of the PFAS Sub-committee of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, the Hon Dr John McVeigh MP said that the Macquarie University is being funded by the Metropolitan Firefighters Brigade (MFB) to conduct this $1.2 million study.

‘Last week the Sub-committee heard from the United Firefighters Union of Australia (UFUA) about high levels of PFAS exposure among firefighters and work with MFB to promote their participation in the Macquarie University’s PFAS blood screening program,’ Dr McVeigh said.

The Macquarie University’s PFAS Clinical Study aims to discover whether a simple intervention program involving whole blood donation every 12 weeks or plasma donation every six weeks over a 52-week period can reduce PFAS levels in firefighters’ blood.

‘The Macquarie University is supporting firefighters to find a feasible and practical solution to the occupational hazards of their work’, Dr McVeigh said. ‘However, this unique study may help all those affected by PFAS, as research into its potential health impacts continues’.

The Macquarie University’s submission (no. 11) to the inquiry sets out information on the study, its timeframe and methodology. Submissions from the UFUA and Fire Rescue Victoria (now representing MFB) are also available on the inquiry site.

Public hearing details

Date: Monday 31 August 2020

Time: ~3:40 pm to 4:30pm

Location: Committee Room IR4, Parliament House, Canberra

via teleconference

The hearing will be audio streamed live at aph.gov.au/live.

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