Congressional Action Protects Fire Fighters From Carcinogenic Exposure

December 12 • 2019

Congress has reached agreement on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) requiring the U.S. military to ban toxic firefighting foam that has been linked to cancer.

The IAFF has been working diligently for years to convince Congress to protect fire fighters from these dangerous chemicals. The NDAA includes important provisions:

  • Requiring the Department of Defense (DoD) to test federal fire fighters’ blood for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl (or PFAS).
  • Banning all firefighting foam containing PFAS from training.
  • Banning the uncontrolled release of PFAS foam for any purpose other than putting out fires.
  • Requiring the DoD to publish a new, non-fluorinated firefighting foam military specification by January 23, 2023.
  • Banning the use of PFAS foam by the military by October 1, 2024.
  • Authorizing an additional $10 million to study PFAS health impacts.

The IAFF will continue to work with elected officials to get this bill to the president’s desk for signature and to protect fire fighters’ health and safety, including reducing exposure to cancer-causing chemicals.