Firefighter bunker gear and turnout gear — the uniforms worn by firemen when going out to fight a fire — contain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a highly toxic class of chemicals.
Here are two important facts from a February 2021 article, “Firefighters face lies, ‘phony’ studies on PFAS exposure“:
- All protective firefighting clothing made prior to 2015 was produced using a carcinogenic compound called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA); and,
- Although PFOA is no longer used to produce the protective pants and jackets firefighters call turnout gear, manufacturers still use other per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)
The commonly used phrase “turnout gear” refers to pants or trousers, jackets, and boots — or to the entire combination of personal protective equipment and personal protective clothing worn by firefighters when working at an active fire site.
Firefighter turnout gear is also referred to as “bunker gear“, a term derived from the fact that the trousers and boots are traditionally kept by the firefighter’s bunk at the fire station to be readily available for use.
Examples of Firefighter Bunker Gear / Turnout Gear
- Turnout Coats
- Turnout Jackets
- Turnout Pants
- Fire Hoods
- Bibbed Fire Hoods
The phrase “fire kit and incident gear” generally means the personal protective equipment (PPE) used by firefighters.
Waterproofing chemicals in the protective gear worn by firefighters may be exposing them to “significant quantities” of potentially toxic fluorochemicals, according to a 2020 study from the University of Notre Dame.
That research was some of the first to reveal the use of PFAS chemicals in firefighting gear worn by firemen. It also showed how firefighter bunker gear and turnout gear were responsible for “new” toxic chemical exposures for firemen. Previously, research was focused on how the use of firefighting foams was responsible for elevated concentrations of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in firefighters’ bloodstreams.
“The amazing thing is that nobody knew this,” said Graham F. Peaslee, a professor of experimental nuclear physics at the University of Notre Dame and one of the study’s authors.
We are investigating possible firefighter gear lawsuits involving certain types of cancer that have been associated with PFAS exposure, including:
- Testicular cancer
- Thyroid cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Bladder cancer
These firefighter bunker gear lawsuits and turnout gear lawsuits would be filed as personal injury cases on behalf of firemen and as wrongful death cases on behalf of their surviving families.
If we can be of assistance to you, let us know by submitting an online Case Evaluation Form or calling Tom Lamb at 800-426-9535.