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PFAS environmental investigation

The NSW Rural Fire Service, Environment Protection Authority and local councils are working to investigate the presence of certain chemicals used at locations across NSW.

These chemicals are called per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The chemicals were contained in firefighting foam which was used extensively worldwide.

Foam containing PFAS was used for firefighting activities by the Councils who managed the Rural Fire Brigades between 1975 until 2001. NSW RFS was formed in 2001 and continued to use PFAS until 2007.  

This site provides information on the current investigation and what you can do if you use or live near a site where these chemicals have been identified.

PFAS in firefighting foams

PFAS foam has been used worldwide for many years due to its effectiveness in fighting liquid fuel fires.

The firefighting foam used by fire services today do not contain PFAS and are more environmentally safe.

PFAS in the environment

PFAS compounds have also been used around the world in a range of common household products including non-stick cookware, fabric, furniture, carpet, food packaging and other industrial processes.

As a result, almost everyone is likely to have some levels of PFAS in their home and body.

What are the health implications of PFAS?

There are no known human health effects related to PFAS however these chemicals are emerging as a contaminant of concern because they can remain in the environment for a long time, and can gather or accumulate. 

Commonwealth Expert Health Panel Advice was provided in May 2018. As such, a precautionary approach is being adopted.

Where can I get more information about PFAS?

You can read about the statewide PFAS program at

There is a range of fact sheets available on the NSW Health website.

You can also stay up to date on what the NSW RFS is doing by monitoring this page.

Our commitment to you

We will work to ensure you are kept up to date on the situation and investigations.

You can register for updates or ask questions by emailing

Current Investigations

The following sites are where investigations are currently underway.