Read the full article by Jakob Lazzaro (WVPE News)

“Indiana firefighters could get annual blood testing for exposure to synthetic PFAS chemicals through a proposed pilot program, according to a new bill introduced in the state house.

First developed in the 1940s, PFAS is a class of thousands of synthetic chemicals that have been extensively used in numerous applications including nonstick cookware, water-repellent fabrics, fast food wrappers and firefighting foam.

…Many of those uses are being phased out, and last October the Environmental Protection Agency announced a ‘strategic road map‘ to regulate PFAS, including setting safe limits for the chemicals in drinking water.

But firefighters may get exposed to a lot of PFAS — it’s used extensively in some firefighting foams, as well as in the protective clothes they wear.

In response to that potential exposure, Democratic Indiana House member Maureen Bauer has introduced a bill that would create a pilot blood testing program to study the long-term effects of PFAS exposure on Indiana’s firefighters.

…The program would be established within the Indiana Department of Health and would choose five locations around the state, with a focus on airport and municipal departments.

Both professional and volunteer firefighters would be eligible to submit their blood every year for PFAS testing. The results would be logged in a database, and IDOH would publish annual reports on the program’s findings.”…