Indiana firefighters could get annual blood testing for exposure to synthetic PFAS chemicals through a proposed pilot program, according to a new bill introduced in the state house.
First developed in the 1940s, PFAS is a class of thousands of synthetic chemicals that have been extensively used in numerous applications including nonstick cookware, water-repellent fabrics, fast food wrappers and firefighting foam.
Many of those uses are being phased out, but PFAS are known as “forever chemicals” because they take decades to break down.
That means they just build up over time in the environment — including in groundwater, drinking water and the human bloodstream.
Scientific studies have linked PFAS exposure to numerous health problems including thyroid disorders, liver damage, testicular and kidney cancer, pregnancy complications and increased cholesterol levels.