Objective: Firefighters were likely exposed to perfluorooctane sulfonate since it was a component of extinguishing foams and perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS), a surfactant coating carpet and other building materials, during firefighting. The objective of the study is to evaluate serum concentrations of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) in firefighters.
Methods: A total of 8826 male adults, including 37 firefighters, were analyzed. Multivariate analysis was conducted by using a general linear model. The least square mean of serum PFAAs was obtained after adjustment for demographic and socioeconomic variables.
Results: Serum concentration of PFHxS was statistically higher in firefighters both before and after adjustment. Perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorononanoic acid were also found higher in firefighters, though not statistically significant.
Conclusions: The study suggests that fighting fire can be a risk of exposure to PFAAs, specifically PFHxS.