Read the full article (Environmental Working Group)

“WASHINGTON – The Environmental Working Group applauds the House for passing a bill to help protect firefighters from exposure to the toxic ‘forever chemicals‘ known as PFAS widely used in their tools and equipment.

The bipartisan legislation, the Protecting Firefighters from Adverse Substances (PFAS) Act, has already cleared the Senate and now heads to President Joe Biden’s desk. It directs the Department of Homeland Security to offer guidance to federal, state and local firefighters about training and the best ways to reduce exposure to PFAS.

Firefighters are exposed through their use of firefighting foam containing PFAS, called aqueous film-forming foam, or AFFF. Foam manufacturers knew of the potential health harms for years, yet kept them secret. Firefighters’ protective gear is also made with PFAS textile materials and treated with additional PFAS for water resistance, posing further risks to firefighters who wear it.

‘Firefighters are among those most exposed to harms from PFAS, but many local fire departments lack the resources and guidance to switch to PFAS-free alternatives,’ said Jay Lucey, EWG’s legislative director for government affairs.

The bill, by Rep. Debbie Dingell and Sen. Gary Peters, both Democrats of Michigan, will help find ways to lower firefighters’ exposure to PFAS. It will also spur the search for firefighting tools and equipment made without harmful PFAS.” …