Read the full article by Press Releases (Congressman Ed Perlmutter)

Lakewood, Colo. – U.S. Reps. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and Bill Posey (R-FL) today introduced bipartisan legislation to study the prevalence and concentration of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the personal protective equipment worn by firefighters as well as firefighters’ risk of exposure to these harmful chemicals. PFAS chemicals are commonly used on firefighting gear to make them more water- and oil-resistant but research has shown PFAS exposure can lead to an increased risk of cancer, the leading cause of death among firefighters, according to the International Association of Fire Fighters.

The Guaranteeing Equipment Safety for Firefighters Act of 2020 requires the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to work in cooperation with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to examine 1) the prevalence of PFAS in personal protective equipment worn by firefighters, 2) the conditions and extent PFAS chemicals are released into the environment through normal use of firefighting equipment, and 3) the relative risk of PFAS exposure faced by firefighters.

‘In order to reduce the serious risk to our firefighters, we must first understand the means and the frequency at which firefighters are being exposed to these dangerous chemicals,’ said Perlmutter. ‘These brave men and women put their lives on the line every day for our communities and we must do everything we can to protect them in return.’

‘The more we know about the presence of PFAS in the products we manufacture the better we will be able to protect consumers and public health,’ said Posey. ‘First responders such as firefighters sometimes face dangerous conditions and their safety is a priority’…”