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FAQs

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1. What are PFAS?

PFAS refers to a group of chemical substances, including Perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).

Read more here.

2. Can PFAS affect human health?

The potential effects of exposure to PFAS to human health continue to be studied.

Read the latest information from the Department of Health here.

3. What are the environmental effects of PFAS?

Read the latest information from EPA here.

4. Can PFAS be airborne?

PFAS is not a vapour or gas but can be ingested through water mist or dust if PFAS is in those sources.

5. Why did CFA use Firefighting Foams?

The foams were used in firefighting practices worldwide When concerns began to emerge around potential impacts CFA mandated that they be discontinued.

6. Does CFA still use Firefighting Foams containing PFOS and PFOA?

No. CFA mandated that use of the foams be discontinued in 2007 once they became aware of concerns around their safety.

7. What is CFA doing about PFAS impacts at the VEMTC sites?

CFA has established the Environmental Compliance Program to identify and manage the potential human health and environmental impacts of historic firefighting practices at the former Fiskville Training College and the VEMTC sites.

This includes testing and assessment of water, soil, vegetation and livestock, planning and implementation of containment and treatment measures and revision of procedures and practices to ensure CFA compliance with regulatory requirements.

CFA also offers a Health Assessment program managed by an independent medical provider for people exposed to PFAS at or around the sites. Find information on how to access this service here .

8. I live in a community neighbouring a VEMTC site. Is the town water safe to drink?

Independent environmental and health advisors have confirmed that there has been no PFAS impact to town drinking water from Fiskville or any of the VEMTC sites.

Ongoing monitoring ensures that our advice is current and representative.

9. I live near a VEMTC site. Should I be concerned?

We continue to monitor water sources around all sites and keep relevant parties informed of any impacts, risks or recommendations.

If you have any concerns, contact the Environment and Health Hotline on 1800 628 616.

10. I used to live near a VEMTC site and I’m worried that I may have been exposed to PFAS. What should I do?

Former residents of any property situated near the former Fiskville Training College or one of the VEMTC sites, can contact the Environment and Health Hotline on 1800 628 616 for further information and support.

11. Why was Fiskville closed?

The CFA Board announced the permanent closure of the Fiskville Training College in March 2015 as it could no longer guarantee the safety of the site.

12. What happened to the Fiskville site?

Following closure of the site, an extensive decommissioning and rehabilitation process is now underway. CFA is considering a number of options for the future use of the site, once the process is complete.