WA Restricts Sale of Foam Linked to Water Pollution
Those chemicals have been in found in some drinking-water wells on Whidbey Island, Issaquah, Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Airway Heights near Fairchild Air Force Base.
If the bill passes both chambers, Washington would become the first state to restrict the sale of firefighting foams with PFAS, said Ivy Sager-Rosenthal of Toxic-Free Future, a group that advocated for the bill.
The bill now heads to the House, where a companion billpassed out of committee.
The foams are used for fighting oil-based fires, but alternative foams without the chemicals also are available.
Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, proposed an unsuccessful amendment to also exempt Washington refineries.
PFAS raises health concerns that include elevated risks for kidney and testicular cancers.
The chemical also has caused concern among firefighters, who have higher rates of cancer than the overall U.S. population, according to a joint study by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the University of California, Davis.
But in Washington, some fire departments already are switching to foams that don’t include PFAS, according to Michael White, legislative liaison for the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters.
Their personal protective equipment may also contain the chemical, and the legislation would require manufacturers who sell the firefighting personal protective equipment to provide written notice at the time of sale if PFAS are used in this gear.
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