Read the full article by Monica Amarelo (Environmental Working Group)
The Defense Department responded too slowly to the threats posed to military service members by the toxic ‘forever chemicals‘ known as PFAS and is failing to track the health risks facing military firefighters, according to DOD’s inspector general.
The IG also found that DOD has failed to take an ‘enterprise wide’ approach to PFAS that reduces all needless exposures to the chemicals.
‘This report should alarm our service members and their families,’ said Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president for government affairs. “DOD understood the health risks posed by toxic PFAS for decades but failed to act to protect service members.
‘Now DOD is letting down our service members again by failing to address all sources of PFAS and by failing to make sure our military firefighters get the care they need,’ he added.Tell Congress: Stop the PFAS Contamination Crisis
PFAS have been confirmed at more than 300 military installations, and hundreds more may be contaminated.
‘This Inspector General’s report confirms that the Defense Department must urgently do more to protect service members and their families from PFAS chemicals,’ said Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.), co-chair of the Congressional PFAS Task Force.
‘Due to the Defense Department’s use of firefighting foam containing PFAS chemicals, many service members, military firefighters and their families are still at risk of exposure. Supporting our brave men and women in uniform means transitioning more quickly away from using PFAS chemicals and ensuring service members have access to quality health care,’ Kildee added.
The DOD, which helped create firefighting foam made with PFAS, understood the risks posed by the chemicals since the 1970s. They are a large group of chemicals that cause increased risk of cancer, harm to fetal development and reduced vaccine effectiveness. PFAS are known as ‘forever chemicals’ because they do not break down in the environment and they build up in our blood and organs.”…