Sustained Outrage

Fluorinated chemicals: What kind of study?



A few months ago, we noted the efforts by a coalition of advocates to get the federal government to commit to a broad effort to more thoroughly study the health effects of C8 and related chemicals.

There’s been some progress on that front, with passage of a defense department funding bill that included language making at least $7 million available for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to “commence a study on the human health implications of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances … contamination in drinking water … and any other sources of water and relevant exposure pathways.” Under the bill, the study must include an “exposure assessment” that must include at least 8 current or former domestic military installations known to have PFAS exposure pathways.

What’s not clear is if this study is also going to include what advocates had requested in terms of study and testing of firefighters and emergency responders.

Rob Bilott, the crusading lawyer who has been working for so long on C8 issues, has been pressing the government on this, including in this letter dated Dec. 13. But so far, he’s gotten no answer.