Read the full article by Kyle Bagenstose
“Congressman Brendan Boyle, D-13, of Philadelphia, joined two of his colleagues in introducing a bill Friday that would compensate military veterans who were made ill by perfluorinated compounds, also called PFAS. The unregulated chemicals are being found in drinking water at an increasing number of military bases, including current and former facilities in Bucks and Montgomery counties.
Called the Veterans Exposed to Toxic PFAS ACT, or VET PFAS act, the legislation would ‘service-connect’ illnesses associated with the chemicals within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, making veterans eligible for disability payments and medical treatment.
‘Veterans and their families exposed to these chemicals as a consequence of their public service deserve the full support and attention of the federal government,’ Boyle said in a prepared statement. ‘This legislation ensures our service members and their families receive the health care they need and deserve. Just as the military leaves no one behind on the battlefield, we must leave no veteran behind at home.’
Boyle introduced the bill along with fellow Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Michigan, and Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan.
According to a news release, the legislation would service-connect six conditions previously linked to PFOA, one of the most prominent PFAS chemicals, by a large study previously conducted in West Virginia. Those conditions are high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, testicular cancer, kidney cancer and pregnancy-induced hypertension.
It also would add to the list any health effects found to be connected to the chemicals by an upcoming, nationwide health study led by a sub-agency of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As previously reported, hard-fought funding was won for the study last year, although it is still in the early planning stages and will likely take many years to complete.
In 2016, this news organization produced an investigative report, ‘Left Behind,’ which chronicled the stories and concerns of veterans who served at local bases and believed they were exposed to toxic chemicals. Joined by former civilian employees, more than 1,600 veterans had joined a Facebook group sharing concerns, tracking the prevalence of illnesses, and remembering those lost…
Many of those interviewed recounted how they had struggled or failed to connect ailments to their service. Others said it required expensive legal battles to attain.”