Norcross Fights to Protect Military Firefighters from Cancer-Related Contaminants
Today, U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01) -- a member of the House Armed Services Committee and Chair of the House Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces -- announced the Protecting Military Firefighters from PFAS Act, which will ensure health tests are conducted for servicemembers who may have been exposed to perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances -- commonly referred to as PFAS.
This follows reports from military retirees and their families that exposure to PFAS caused serious negative health issues, including the development of a number of cancers ranging from prostate to bladder cancer.
"Military firefighters respond to our nation's emergencies, but we're not responding to their health needs. That's unacceptable," said Norcross. "Considering the recent trends, our military should take this simple proactive step to add a needed blood test so servicemembers have all of the health information they need."
He added: "I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure the military and Administration takes the threat of PFAS seriously -- and, until the day comes when our military installations are PFAS-free, we must make sure the brave men and women who risk their lives to protect our country and communities are provided with top-notch, comprehensive health screenings."
The bill is supported by the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local F-61, representing federal firefighters at Navy Yard in Philadelphia, as well as IAFF Local F-313, representing firefighters at New Jersey's Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. Overall, the Joint Base employs more than 40,000 military and civilian employees and contributes nearly $7 billion to our state economy.
"As Federal Firefighters, we dedicate our careers to protect those who defend America and the communities around the various Installations," said Nicholas Foufas, Senior Vice President of IAFF Local F-313. "This Local supports the monitoring that is called for in the Protecting Military Firefighters from PFAS Act. On behalf of the officers and members of IAFF Local F-313, we thank Congressman Norcross."
U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) is introducing companion legislation in the Senate.
"Senator Shaheen is leading the effort in Congress to uncover the potential health effects of emerging contaminants in water supplies and I thank her for her steadfast commitment to the health and wellbeing of Americans," said Norcross.