FALL RIVER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) – A new protective piece of clothing is being made to protect the health and wellness of firefighters.
Precision Sportswear in Fall River manufactures underwear to protect firefighters against cancer-causing chemicals, toxins and smoke. Defender Briefs, created by Northampton firefighter Levi Bousquet, block 99% of cancer-causing agents from reaching the skin.
“It’s just great to be able to get this product out there to obviously try and help out this cancer situation,” said General Manager Paul Medeiros.
The underwear will also block chemicals that are found in firefighters' gear known as PFAS. According to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), “PFAs are widely used, long lasting chemicals, components of which break down very slowly over time.” The EPA also said these chemicals are commonly found in people’s blood and can cause harmful health effects.
“This is going to block a lot of the stuff from the environment but it’s also blocking that PFAS which is required to be in the gear at this point,” said Fall River Firefighter Jason Burn. “We’re not happy about that.”
Bousquet’s company, 9 Alarm Apparel, is advertising the underwear by using the hashtag, “protecttheboys.”
WBZ’s Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) has more from the company’s factory: