New Indiana pilot programme set to monitor PFAS levels in firefighters


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Professional Fire Fighters Union of Indiana and legislators collaborate for protective measures against PFAS

The Professional Fire Fighters Union of Indiana (PFFUI) has introduced a ground-breaking law in Indiana: one that aims to safeguard firefighters from exposure to PFAS.

“Knowing what level of PFAS we have absorbed into our bodies is just the first step, but it is an important one,” stated PFFUI President Tony Murray: “We hope this will lead to earlier and more frequent cancer screenings. If we can catch cancer early, we can save lives.”

Tony expressed gratitude to Rep. Maureen Bauer for her hard work and dedication in making this possible.

The PFFUI and Bauer have been working together for several legislative sessions to fine-tune the bill’s language and gain support from other lawmakers and the state fire marshal’s office.

House Enrolled Act 1219: monitoring PFAS levels in firefighters

Through the collaborative effort, House Enrolled Act 1219 has been passed. This Act, enforced by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (DHS), kickstarts a pilot program. This program will monitor PFAS levels in 1,000 firefighters using regular blood tests.

Rep. Maureen Bauer described the significance of this new legislation: “As my community of South Bend continues to mourn the loss of several firefighters to occupational cancer in recent years, the PFAS testing pilot program will finally give firefighters a tool to know their own cancer risk early on and help prevent future late-stage diagnoses.”

Selection process for PFAS monitoring program underway

Now that the law has been enacted, the selection process for the pilot programme has started. The program is projected to include a diverse group of firefighters, including those who work in busy firehouses and airports, and those with less exposure, such as new firefighters.

In recognition of this achievement, General President Edward Kelly remarked: “Congratulations to our Indiana members on getting this important bill passed. State laws like this one play a critical role in the IAFF’s fight against PFAS exposure and occupational cancer.

“This is an important step for our Indiana members so they can take action and stay healthy and safe on the job.”

IFSJ Comment

This marks a significant step towards understanding and combating the risks associated with PFAS exposure in firefighters.

It also underscores the necessity for firefighters to be aware of their own health risks, potentially leading to earlier intervention and prevention of late-stage cancer diagnoses.

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