Read the full article from the Environmental Working Group
“The Build Back Better bill passed by the House of Representatives today includes $95 million for local fire departments to purchase firefighting foam and gear made without the toxic “forever chemicals” known as PFAS.
‘Firefighters are among those most highly exposed to harms from PFAS through their protective gear and firefighting foam, but many local fire departments lack the resources to switch to PFAS-free alternatives,’ said Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president for government affairs.
Reps. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) led the effort to include the funding in the Build Back Better bill, along with nearly 70 other members of Congress. The $1.75 trillion legislation is a broad social spending pill that the Senate will now consider.
Studies show that firefighters have higher levels of PFAS in their blood serum than the average American. PFAS are linked to various health harms, including some kinds of cancer, reproductive harms and reduced effectiveness of vaccines.
The exposures happen through the use of firefighting foam containing PFAS, called aqueous film-forming foam, or AFFF, and protective clothing treated with PFAS. Foam manufacturers knew of the potential health harms for years, yet kept them secret.
‘Chemical companies and firefighting foam companies hid the risks of PFAS for decades,” Faber said. “As a result, firefighters handled the foam for decades without understanding the risks or taking precautions to limit their exposures.'”…