With fires raging all along the west coast this season, the importance of firefighters’ work has never been more clear. But beyond the obvious dangers are the toxic hazards they face at work. For many, one of their greatest concerns is the chemical exposures they get on the job and the potential for those exposures to lead to cancer. Cancer is now the leading cause of death among firefighters, and they have higher rates of cancer than the general population.
CONTACT: Laurie Valeriano, Executive Director of Toxic-Free Future – 206.200.2824, or
Jaime Smith, Grit City Strategy & Communications (on behalf of TFF) – 253.334.5670
OLYMPIA, WA — The Washington State Senate today overwhelmingly approved a bill that closes several major gaps in the state’s effort to phase out toxic PFAS chemicals in firefighting foam. HB 2265 already passed the House last month and now heads to Gov. Jay Inslee for his signature. Continue reading
Olympia, WA—Yesterday, the Washington State House of Representatives kicked off the 2020 legislative session by hearing a bill in the Environment and Energy Committee to take more action on toxic PFAS in firefighting foam. Continue reading
UPDATE: Both the U.S. House and Senate have passed versions of the military spending bill including provisions to phase out PFAS-containing firefighting foam, but with different timelines. The bill now heads to a conference committee.
The use of PFAS chemicals in firefighting foam is a major source of drinking water contamination, with PFAS chemicals contaminating the water of at least 1 in 20 Americans. A large amount of this contamination comes from military bases across the country.
The dangerous class of nonstick chemicals called “PFAS” contaminates drinking water, communities, and people across the United States. One of the culprits: PFAS put into firefighting foams used at airports as required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA requirement means that these foams remain a big concern when it comes to PFAS pollution, unnecessarily exposing communities and firefighters to the dangerous chemicals.
Toxic-Free Future’s Science Director, Erika Schreder, recently traveled to a conference in Dallas to gain more expertise on firefighting foams. She wanted to find out how well PFAS-free foams perform as we work with airports and refineries to stop the use of PFAS-containing foams. This research is critical as states and the Federal Aviation Administration consider restrictions on PFAS containing foams. Continue reading
The legislative session has ended and I am excited to report that the legislature passed not one, but TWO bipartisan bills to protect our water, food, firefighters, health, and environment from harmful nonstick PFAS chemicals! Continue reading
An important new article from Sharon Lerner in The Intercept highlights the health and environmental problems of newer generation PFAS chemicals used in certain firefighting foams. It uncovers the chemical industry’s dubious claims of safety and efficacy of these foams and why PFAS-free foams could be the better choice. Continue reading