Debunking the Industry Spin on #PFAS in Your Turnout Gear

Diane Cotter
5 min readMay 25, 2020

On May 5th I was alerted to the ‘fireside chat’ by Lion Gear that was given by Dr. Paul Chrostowski to discuss PFAS in turnout gear.

Dr. Paul Chrostowski has a long background in ‘risk management’…

Dr Chrostowski was the Weinberg Group ‘s risk management person for 6 years. https://studylib.net/doc/7263520/dr.-chrostowski-is-a-qualified-environmental-professional...

Here is the Weinberg Memo to DuPont regarding PFOA in 2003:

One of the items Dr. Chrostowski speaks of is the ‘European Limits’.

Those limits… were NOT set by a safety committee. Or based on health studies. Those limits, which OEKO Tex is now using as a OEKO TEX 100 number (making you feel safe and secure).. ARE AN INDUSTRY COMPROMISE.

The amount you are being told, ‘ NOT MORE THAN 25 parts per billion PFOA’ was what the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) agreed to after 200 pages of comments from ‘stakeholders’ who said they could NOT make your gear without PFOA.

Also, it is extremely important to note.. OEKO TEX 100 STANDARD FOR PFAS IS ONLY FOR LONG CHAIN PFAS.. MEANING THE STUFF THEY SAY THEY NO LONGER USE IN THE USA. SO… IF YOU ARE BUYING GEAR, IT ABSOLUTELY HAS SHORT CHAIN PFAS , ie., C6, or lower., and,, it has a certain precursor. This precursor FORMS PFOA in hours to days.. That’s right. This entire spin from manufacturers is pure bullshit.

There is one product now on the market that we are not hearing enough about. You want to contact Safety Components for their PFZero. http://nopfas.com/

We heard a rumor other manufacturers gave SC much push-back about their back stock if SC came out with too much push on the new PFAS free product. We would like to see much more from SC on their PFAS free product.

Industry is now using to tell you that it is safe. The ‘stakeholders comments’ from PPE manufacturers state they cannot make PPE without C8. That to do so would cost them more money. They wanted to ‘derogate your PPE altogether’. ECHA said ‘no way’. And the compromise of 25ppb PFOA and one ppm ‘precursor’ was struck.

See page 7 of ECHA’s 56 pages of opinions for the ruling on PFOA in ‘protective textiles’. That’s you. https://www.echa.europa.eu/documents/10162/13641/rest_pfoa_compiled_opinions_en.pdf

Now, these same manufactures are telling you it’s safe cause the Europeans already are doing it. It’s industry spin. And we have GOT to be smarter than this.

Now. The study. Lion’s study done by Exponent. Where do I begin. FIRST. Exponent is a ‘consultant group. You will get what you want if you pay for it.

Dr. David Michaels, Director of OSHA for 9 years, just published his second book on the subject of ‘science for a fee’. In his newly released book, ‘The Triump of Doubt’, Dr Michaels discusses #Exponent and how the group extrapolates material from studies that will favor their paying client.

Paul Thacker, a investigative journalist and former investigator for US Senate who wrote about the Weinberg Group and their attacks on science. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_D._Thacker

May 14, 2020, Paul Thacker came out with this expose on science deniers and much of it details his findings on DuPont’s purchase of science via the Weinberg Group. Dr Paul Chrostowski worked for this group for 9 years. He is telling you in his fireside chat that all is well. That the PFOA in your toothfloss is harmful.. but not that PFOA in your turnout gear.. that’s ok.

Remember. The IAFF supports the study by Lion. Here is there statement:

Harold Schaitberger has sold out the IAFF to the chemical giants who refuse to acknowledge the PFOA in turnout gear. The Lion study should be a concern to every firefighter in the fleet. Pat Morrison telling the fleet they are looking at all studies is too little too late. He’s known since 2018 that PFOA is forming in hours to days. He was told so on a conference call with Dr Peaslee in our effort to warn the leaders of the fire service.

Ask Pat Morrison what he is being instructed to tell you about PFOA in turnout gear and why he is using the exact same language as Lion Gear’s #Exponent study by Dr Chrostowski.

In Pat’s IAFF version, ‘ Toxic Substances and the Firefighter: The IAFF Fights Back’ from January, 2020. He uses the exact same language as Lion. Volleyballs and tennisballs. Listen to both the Lion version above from Dr Chrostowski, and Pat Morrison's version here .

Tell me we don’t have a problem here people.

This independent study from Ike Van Der Veen should be eye opening to every firefighter. The amounts of PFAS in your turnout gear far surpasses the amounts in outdoor clothing.

The effect of weathering on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) from durable water repellent (DWR) clothing

Diane Cotter

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Diane Cotter

A very private individual who fell into a very public rabbit hole of epic proportions. I call it the #greatestdeceptionever - really, EVER.