Strom Peterson proposing banning a certain foam used in firefighting

By Brian Soergel | Mar 05, 2018

Recently, some Washington communities have found alarming levels of per- and polyfluorylalkyl substances, or PFAS, in their water supplies. Not only are PFAS chemicals long-lasting, they have been tied to multiple serious health issues, such as certain cancers, hormone disruption, and liver toxicity.

While these communities are taking steps to protect their residents from the toxic chemicals, more needs to be done to protect our communities and the environment, according to Rep. Strom Peterson (D-Edmonds), who serves the 21st District.

Experts have pinpointed the source of the contamination to a kind of firefighting foam used to put out oil fires. Peterson said that in order to protect the environment, citizens’ health and the health of firefighters, he proposed House Bill 2793, which will ban the sale of the PFAS-containing firefighting foam.

“I think this has big impacts across the state,” Peterson said. “Close to home, one of my biggest concerns on these foams is what happens were they to enter Puget Sound or other sensitive areas like Lake Ballinger or the Edmonds Marsh. How toxic are they to fish and will those toxins transfer to people when they have a nice piece of salmon or some Dungeness crab?

“Of course, the other part of the bill deals with the PFAS chemicals in the bunker gear used by all of our firefighters. Cancer rates among them are exponentially higher than average and this could be one of the causes.”


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