Read the full article by Whitney Downard (CNHI Statehouse News- Tribune-Star)
“A bill limiting the use of firefighting foams containing PFAS passed a Senate committee Monday, moving to the full Senate for discussion.
The PFAS chemical, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, is frequently used to fight fuel fires at military bases and airports.
Recently, concerns about the chemical’s environmental and health impacts have emerged as wells and water sources near these installations have been contaminated.
The Environmental Protection Agency reports that the chemical can increase cholesterol in humans but also contribute to low infant birth weights, tumors, cancer and thyroid hormone disruption.
Rep. Peggy Mayfield, R-Martinsville, authored HB 1189, which will require firefighters training or testing the foam to use appropriate containment measures.
Mayfield described how effective the foam was at trapping the vapors and smothering large fires but the bill aimed to balance that usefulness with the negatives consequences.
‘I think if we ban it we will not be able to put out [those] fires effectively,’ Mayfield said.
The bill received support from several firefighter organizations and chemical councils but a neutral stance from the Hoosier Environmental Council.
‘They don’t break down in the environment and they don’t break down in our bodies,’ Indra Frank, the organization’s health director, said. “’he notion of using it in training and then containing it … it’s very difficult to dispose of this.’
Frank said the bill had limiting language that could affect future regulation efforts…”