PFAS in Turnout Gear May Be Hard to Replace with Bryan Ormond

A recent study done at North Carolina State University took a look at PFAS chemicals used in turnout gear and came to some interesting conclusions.

PFAS layers are what give current turnout coats and pants their oil and water repellency.

They’re also a known carcinogen, so donning PPE made with PFAS is dangerous even before you step onto your engine or truck.

Unfortunately, when the study looked at alternatives, it found that all oil repellents can also repel water, but all water repellents don’t necessarily repel oil.

My guest on this show is Bryan Ormond, PhD, an assistant professor of textile engineering, chemistry, and science at NC State. He also wrote up the results of the study.


The study report: Toward the future of firefighter gear: Assessing fluorinated and non-fluorinated outer shells following simulated on-the-job exposures

IAFF’s webpage on PFAS

NIST: Wear and Tear May Cause Firefighter Gear to Release More ‘Forever Chemicals’

NFPA’s Firefighter Gear Safety webpage