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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 16th September 2016 > FIGHTING FIRE WITH CANCER

FIGHTING FIRE WITH CANCER

Fluorinated chemicals used by firefighters are showing up in our blood, which is setting off alarms

@Douglas_Main

FOAM BLANKET: Firefighters use different chemical retardants to douse different kinds of blazes. The ones used in wildfires like this one in California have raised concerns about their impact on wildlife.
ROBERT GALBRAITH/REUTERS

LIKE THOSE of many locals, the lives of the Amico family of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, were inextricably linked with Pease International Tradeport, a large office park built in the early 1990s on the site of what used to be a military installation. Pease Air Force Base, active from the 1950s until 1991, used large quantities of chemicals called highly fluorinated compounds to fight fires and in practice drills. These chemicals are very similar to nonstick materials like Teflon, and an emerging body of research shows that they present serious health risks. They harm the immune system and brain, are linked to cancer and obesity, and disrupt the normal activity of bodily hormones.

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9/11's Second wave... 400,000 people have been affected by diseases, cancers and mental illnesses that are all linked to the attacks!
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