Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI) has introduced a measure that ensures military firefighters exposed to toxic per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) chemicals receive Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) healthcare.
Currently, military firefighters exposed to firefighting foam containing PFAS are not guaranteed healthcare to respond to that exposure. Exposure to PFAS has been linked to cancer as well as thyroid, kidney, liver, heart, and reproductive problems.
“For decades, military firefighters have been exposed to toxic PFAS chemicals, which are known to be unsafe. Military firefighters are entitled to quality health care if they are exposed to PFAS chemicals,” Kildee, chief deputy whip of the House Democratic Caucus and co-chair of the Congressional PFAS Task Force, said. “Military firefighters are already facing so many hazards on the job, and they shouldn’t be worried about toxic PFAS chemicals in their gear, which is supposed to protect them. I am proud to have worked with the International Association of Firefighters on this important legislation dealing with toxic PFAS chemicals.”
The measure also directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology to create a safe standard for the gear firefighters use while fighting fires while enabling the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) to clean up toxic PFAS chemicals at firefighting training centers.