… first, a little history :
August 1999 ~ AN AMERICAN SWEATSHOP … by Mark Boal for Mother Jones Magazine
Besides the low pay, the job gave her back pain from hunching over old sewing machines held together with spare parts and electrical tape. Fumes from formaldehyde, a suspected carcinogen used to keep fabric stiff, would cling to her clothes, make her short of breath, give her headaches, and cause rashes on her arms…
An American Sweatshop
The women at the Lion Apparel factory in Beattyville, Kentucky, are part of a largely female workforce of 15,000…
In 1997, Arleenna Lawson, a worker at Lion’s plant in West Liberty, about a half-hour drive from Beattyville, began waking up with small bumps on her face. At first she thought it was nothing, but in two weeks the bumps grew into large lumps. When she showed a manager at work, she was told not to worry about it. An allergist later determined she was suffering a reaction to the formaldehyde in the permanent-press fabrics she sewed at work, and recommended that Lawson be given an assignment away from the offending chemical. “But they just moved me to another line for a few days, and then I was back doing collars,” she remembers.
Editor's Note: Lion Apparel
After Mother Jones reported on conditions at manufacturing plants operated by companies involved in providing U.S…
Mother Jones is not willing to retract the story, which we believe is essentially accurate. However, we invited Lion to share its views with our readers. The company declined. Nonetheless, we believe that our readers deserve to hear the company’s perspective and our response. Lion sent a number of letters and memos to Mother Jones regarding its concerns, making it difficult to summarize them. We’ve done our best to try to present what we understand to be Lion’s major allegations:
January 2007 … Fran Speilman ~ Chicago Sun Times
Two incidents last week — one at a warehouse fire, the other during fire academy training — have raised renewed questions about the safety of $10 million worth of protective clothing purchased for Chicago firefighters.
Both firefighters burned a hole in the pants of their “bunker gear” while using a high-powered saw to cut through a metal fence. Sparks flew and a piece of red-hot metal hit the pant leg and damaged the outer shell. The thermal barrier and inner lining of the pants was not penetrated.
Metal burns holes in city's new firefighter gear
By Fran SpielmanChicago Sun Times Copyright 2007 Chicago Sun-Times, Inc.All Rights Reserved Two incidents last week …
Stephen A. Schwartz, President of Lion Gear responded.. in a letter. Lion had the gear tested by… DuPont, and there were no problems..
Reminds me of this 2014 study of the ‘soils identified on used turnout gear’, that went to the DuPont Labs.. where there was no PFAS mentioned… but the usual names were thanked by the student for their help in the thesis
Lion Apparel Responds to Chicago Story
Chicago Sun-Times Editors Re: January 16, 2007, Fran Spielman Article: Metal burns holes in city's new firefighter gear.…
.. one wonders how often this happens:
June 2014 _ NY Daily News by Ginger Adams Otis
Deputy Chief Nicholas Del Re was fined $7,000 for violating conflict-of-interest rules after he raked in the perks from firefighter uniform maker Lion Apparel, city documents show. Del Re, 50, was courted by the company after he recommended that the FDNY buy a Lion-manufactured MT94 protective suit in 2008, documents show.
The FDNY bought 113 of the $1,575 suits in September 2009, 604 in May 2010 and 25 in December 2011.
EXCLUSIVE: Head of FDNY's hazardous materials unit fined $7G fine for accepting gifts from…
The head of the FDNY's hazardous materials unit found himself in quite a mess after he accepted steak dinners and other…
We just ordered all new Lion gear and the salesman we dealt with told us repeatedly that FDNY was now using it. It was his driving sales pitch…
The EWG Firefighter PFAS Timeline:
2017 ~ Then this happened..
The Real Cancer In Your Gear, Station Pride, by Diane Cotter with editor Jon Marr.
The REAL Cancer in Your Gear
My husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer 27 months ago. The shock and awe of hearing, "yes, it is cancer" is the…
and 9 days later ….
April 6, 2017 “Ammo Please”… by David Steinman of Healthy Living Magazine
The manufacturers of fire fighter turnout gear began taking on Diane Cotter as soon as the first article, "The Real…
April 26th., Lion begins the ‘Not in our House’ cancer campaign twenty days after the internal emails were sent! Quite contradictory to the internal emails 20 days prior imo.
“LION, stands behind cancer awareness, because it aligns with LION’s mission to fulfill the personal safety of first responders.
We’ve already begun partnerships with industry organizations such as the: National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, Firefighter Cancer Support Network, and the National Volunteer Fire Council. As founding partner of Not in Our House, we welcome other industry organizations to partner with the campaign,” Mark Smith, Senior Vice President, LION.
'Not in Our House' Cancer Awareness Campaign - Fire Engineering: Firefighter Training and Fire…
Cancer is an undeniable issue in the fire service
But we’re just getting started.. and this legend in the clip below is gonna tune shit up… it would take a little time, of which Mrs. Cotter was quite impatient, but, it would be one of the most, if not the most, righteous events of this odyssey. Stand by.
FDIC International 2017: Wednesday | Nothing showcases the sheer scale of FDIC International than…
Nothing showcases the sheer scale of FDIC International than events like the Opening Ceremony. You can find video from…
Then, in September 2017 this Hero shows up:
DuPont’s Worst Nightmare ~ The New York Times, by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Lawyer Who Became DuPont's Worst Nightmare (Published 2016)
Rob Bilott was a corporate defense attorney for eight years. Then he took on an environmental suit that would upend his…
On September 5th 2017, not even having come up for air from his war in Ohio, Attorney Rob Bilott, along with Fire Chief Jeff Hermes, and C8 Science Council Dr. Brooks took on this mess with a 195 page letter to the EPA, CDC, ATSDR, and the US Attorney General.. stating he will sue them if they don’t start PFAS TESTING AND MEDICAL MONITORING for the fire service. Because, well um, our institutions weren’t.
November 16, 2017 ~ The Columbus Dispatch, by Earl Rinehart
Lion let it be known what they thought of Rob Bilott seeking medical monitoring and health studies related to PFAS in turnout gear. Still peculiar, in my opinion, for the newly launched ‘not in our house’ anti-cancer Lion Gear campaign .
Is gear dangerous? Lawyer, manufacturer debate
A battle of studies and statistics is being waged between a manufacturer of turnout gear for firefighters and a lawyer…
“Trace amounts,” Bilott responded. “You’re talking about a carcinogen. No one has defined what is a safe level of carcinogen.”
The battles and war would rage on until April 2019 at FDIC 2019 where Dr. Graham Peaslee would present the preliminary results of the most remarkable firefighter turnout gear study ever undertaken. Orchestrated by a firewife and her growing army.
Notre Dame University Pushes the Modern Fire Service to be Better.
In a recent commercial aired at half-time during last Saturday's Notre Dame Football game; The University of Notre Dame…
October 2019, University of Notre Dame would air ‘Fighting to protect the brave” from their series, ‘What Would You Fight For?’ . It aired during halftime of Notre Dame’s home game to 4 million viewers.
Andy and company didn’t like that, and would put pen to paper and send a letter to the President of Notre Dame, expressing discontent at the university for airing the segment. The university would stand behind their nuclear physicist.
January 2020 - IAFF Fights Back was brought to you by Harold Schaitberger, Lion Gear and the epic volleyball/tennisball
Our PPE Specialist, Jeff Knobbe and member of our Last Call Fdn / Notre Dame study team, asked to view the Exponent study. One could not view it, one had to call Lion Gear to make arrangements. Lion Gear and the gang flew from Dayton, Ohio to Jeff’s lab in Alameda County, Cali. While there Jeff, would debate with the Lion team on the PFAS hazards in the gear. During the meeting a third party would call in. Dr. Paul Chrostowski. Dr Chrostowski would attempt to persuade Jeff that the newer, short-chain PFAS was ‘too big to go through the skin’… ‘it was like a volleyball or tennis-ball’.
Jeff was not persuaded. During the IAFF conference, you’ll hear the same language. While watching remotely, I received a call from Jeff, and he exclaimed, “did you just hear that!!” — “The volleyballs and tennis-balls!” That’s what Chrostowski said to me!!”
Lion Gear would ask to visit Dr. Peaslee at his lab in Notre Dame to speak further on this previously unknown threat. Dr. Peaslee would accommodate the Lion team in his laboratory where he and his team built the St. Andre Particle Accelerator. While there, the Lion team would suggest to Dr. Peaslee that not all PFAS were harmful, and ‘short-chain’ PFAS were less harmful. To which Dr. Peaslee would not concede.
That visit was followed up three weeks later with the publication and wide spread circulation of Lion Gear’s newly minted Exponent Study. The study wasn’t shocking — anyone could easily what Exponent was.
The shocker was that the IAFF had reviewed the science and made the following statement, despite the warnings that I had provided to the H&S team.
View Lion Gear’s and Dr. Chrostowski Fireside Chat here:
Debunking the Industry Spin on #PFAS in Your Turnout Gear
On May 5th I was alerted to the ‘fireside chat’ by Lion Gear that was given by Dr. Paul Chrostowski to discuss PFAS in…
June 2020. I would receive a warning from that hero, Bobby Halton. . He had been asked to attend a meeting by a ‘PPE salesrep’ who was going to a meeting at Schaitberger’s IAFF headquarters to discuss how to ‘mess with Diane Cotter’. It would be another two years before Bobby told me who it was. He either let it slipped or dropped it intentionally knowing I’d blow it up.
Congressional Fire Services Caucus Member John Granby; VP of Govt Affairs and Corporate…
Chronology of Schaitberger Administration of International Association of FireFighters Union - Actions and In-actions…
Still June 2020, who can the attempt to smear Dr. Peaslee by Chrostkowski:
Chrostowski: Can’t connect the jab.
Research and Independent Testing Shows Firefighters' Turnout Gear Remains Safe Despite Claims …
Public concerns about PFAS chemicals in the environment have grown exponentially in the past few years.
Peaslee: Lands Haymaker:
Researcher Responds to Claims About PFAS, Firefighter PPE
There is a wealth of published evidence out there that PFAS are insidious toxins in many ways, and their use to make…
July, 2022: Fire Engineering Humpday Hangout:
Pj Norwood, Frank Ricci, and Bobby Halton interview Dr. Peaslee and Elijah Yetter-Bowman; producer/director of, ‘Burned~Protecting the Protectors’. At approximately 28 mm Editor in Chief Bobby Halton announces “ not only was she alone, she was vilified and persecuted, and there were organized attacks against her — I know for a fact — because I was cajoled to join and said no that’s not for me “…..
January 2023, Lion and Gore ask for exemption from the State of Maine legislation asking all manufacturers state their PFAS material.
March 2023 — IAFF FILES SUIT AGAINST NFPA —
Lawsuit states, “the most vocal opponent of TIA 1594 was Karen Lehtonen, Lion’s VP of Innovation and Management”…
IAFF files lawsuit against NFPA over gear testing standard - IAFF
In the next step in its fight to combat fire fighter cancer, the International Association of Fire Fighters filed suit…
I’m looking forward to our day in court when we learn who knew what and when they knew it. And what was done to keep it from you.
Worcester firefighters with cancer file lawsuit against turnout gear makers, chemical giants
10 Worcester firefighters are suing chemical and gear makers, alleging PFAS in their products caused their cancers.