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PFAS Chemicals Found at Local Fire Station:Point Cook Soil Tests Initiated

PFAS at Point Cook Fire Station
  
   

Residents of Point Cook are to have their soil tested for PFAS contamination following discoveries at the fire station.

Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) has initiated a soil testing program for residents near the Point Cook Fire Station after elevated levels of hazardous PFAS chemicals were discovered at the facility. DRC Environmental Pty Ltd, an independent environmental consultant, identified the contamination, prompting FRV to extend the testing to nearby residential areas.

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Deputy Commissioner Michael Morgan informed residents through a letter that the testing, scheduled for May 15 or 16, 2024, will be conducted at no cost to homeowners. FRV, in collaboration with Environmental Protection Authority Victoria, WorkSafe, local councils, and the community, aims to manage the contamination comprehensively.

PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are linked to several health risks, including liver damage, thyroid disease, decreased fertility, and an increased risk of cancer. These chemicals persist in the environment and can accumulate in the human body over time. Residents’ exposure to PFAS can occur through various pathways, including drinking contaminated water from municipal sources or private wells, consuming fish with high levels of PFAS, and eating food grown or raised near areas that used or produced these chemicals.

The community’s anxiety is heightened by concerns over potential declines in property values if PFAS is found in their soil. This comes four years after the Metropolitan Fire Brigade reported PFAS presence at their sites in January 2020, which led to advisories against consuming local produce and eggs.

The FRV has pledged to maintain transparency and thoroughness in their testing and remediation efforts, addressing the contamination issue effectively for the safety and well-being of the Point Cook community.

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