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ClineWatch: Cline votes no on Protecting Firefighters from Adverse Substances Act

ben cline
Ben Cline. Photo courtesy Ben Cline congressional campaign.

By Gene Zitver

Last week the House of Representatives voted 400-22 to pass the Protecting Firefighters from Adverse Substances Act (S 231) and send it to President Biden for his signature.

Sixth District Congressman Ben Cline was one of the 22 Republicans who voted no.

The bill directs the Department of Homeland Security to offer guidance to firefighters about the best ways to reduce exposure to the toxic “forever chemicals” known as PFAS widely used in their tools and equipment.

According to the Environmental Working Group:

Firefighters are exposed through their use of firefighting foam containing PFAS, called aqueous film-forming foam, or AFFF. Foam manufacturers knew of the potential health harms for years, yet kept them secret. Firefighters’ protective gear is also made with PFAS textile materials and treated with additional PFAS for water resistance, posing further risks to firefighters who wear it.

…..

Studies show firefighters have higher levels of PFAS in their blood than the average American. PFAS are linked to various health harms, including some kinds of cancerreproductive harms and reduced effectiveness of vaccines.

Viable alternatives to AFFF are already on the market. Many meet rigorous international standards and are used around the world. As of April 2019, 90 fluorine-free foams were available from 22 manufacturers.

Congressman: From now on, please spare us your pious tributes to first responders. Your vote tells us all we need to know about your lack of concern for them.

Gene Zitver is the editor of ClineWatch.

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