Toxic foam: What’s the lather all about?
Environmental officials are investigating New Zealand’s use of firefighting foam that contains banned chemicals.
The foam has already been found to have contaminated groundwater underneath the air force bases at Ohakea and Woodbourne.
Human bodies get rid of PFOA and PFOS from their systems much more slowly than other animal species.
It has been banned in firefighting standards in New Zealand since 2006 and hasn’t been used by the Defence Force since 2002.
That can happen after being consumed in water, or food produced with contaminated soil and water, or fish living in contaminated water.
The Defence Force has confirmed that soil and groundwater at Ohakea and Woodbourne airbases is contaminated above acceptable levels.
It is unclear why the level for milk is so much higher than for drinking water (70 parts per trillion).
What levels are okay?
New Zealand has adopted the Australian standards, which, for drinking water, is 70 parts per trillion for PFOS and 560 parts per trillion for PFOA.
Once removed, the levels in the blood decrease – studies have shown a 60 percent fall in four years.