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EPA investigates potential contamination at Regional Training Campuses
As you may be aware Environmental Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) is leading the whole of government response to issues around the presence of low levels of foam residue at six of CFA’s Regional Training Campuses (RTCs).
The training facilities are located at Penshurst, Wangaratta, Longerenong (Horsham), Huntly (Bendigo), Fulham (Sale), and Bangholme (Dandenong/Carrum). They remain safe to train at.
EPA supports earlier CFA findings that the risk to public health and the environment is very low. Water authorities have tested drinking water and found it is safe to drink.
A working group co-ordinated by EPA and including CFA will carry out further tests on waterways, drains and groundwater at the RTCs and neighbouring properties. PFOS or Perflurooctane sulfonate was used in firefighting foam up until 2007. Residues have been found in ground water and soil.
CFA has engaged toxicologists who advise that the human health risk from PFOS is very low. It’s important to know everyone is exposed to PFOS through eating food in treated packaging like pizza boxes and grease proof paper, or by using products such as some cosmetics, shaving cream, water repellent sprays and even carpet stain repellents.
The safety of our members remains our number one priority. CFA will play an active role as part of the working group.
If you have any questions or issues regarding your health or wellbeing, please contact your Operations Officer/line manager. Any member wanting health and welfare services can call the CFA hotline on 1800 628 616.
The EPA can be reached via their hotline on 1300 372 842 (1300EPA VIC). EPA’s website will also be regularly updated as testing continues.