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News4SA: Law makers step up PFAS protections to include testing firefighters

January 10, 2020

SAN ANTONIO — Two months ago, a career military firefighter, we'll identify only as Albert, shared the extend of this exposure to a toxic firefighting foam containing PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances).

He's waded in it, touched it, inhaled it more times than he can count and he's one of hundreds of first responders who've used the aqueous film forming foam while training to extinguish military jet fuel fires.

On December 20, 1919 the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 passed, including provisions for mandatory blood testing of military firefighters.

"The recently-approved law making blood testing available offers military firefighters, impacted by PFAS while serving our country, important health information," said U.S. Rep Lloyd Doggett (D-San Antonio).

"Those who keep America safe, in San Antonio and nationwide, must themselves be kept safe.”

Today, there was another victory for those fighting for PFAS protections.

The House passed the PFAS Action Act of 2019 which is comprehensive legislation to regulate PFAS chemicals, clean up contamination, and protect public health.
“We must not allow ‘forever chemicals’ to cause forever damage," Doggett said.

"This new, just-approved PFAS bill would both help clean up past damage and enforce overdue protections, especially to shield those living near bases from future harm."

The bill moves onto the Senate for vote.