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Maine firefighters want to stop using firefighting foams, say it puts their and public’s health at risk

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Several fire departments in Maine are calling for an end to traditional firefighting foams- and the deadly chemicals it contains that often pollute groundwater.

Known as per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, the chemicals are near impossible to break down and often leech into the aquifers.

PFAS also go by another name- “Forever chemicals.”

“It can cause problems through its runoff,” Biddeford Fire Captain Justin Cooper said. “And it’s been known to cause cancer in firefighters.”

Cooper’s agency got rid of the chemicals after they found out what they can do to the environment.

“We found that our gear does a great job of protecting us from heat, but doesn’t do a great job of protecting us from those bi-products of combustion,” Cooper said.

According to WGME, PFAS has been known to cause immune system problems, infertility, and cancer.

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