“Strong support, it unanimously passed:” MD bill could help eliminate PFAS out of the environment

MARYLAND– Knocking PFAS Chemicals out of the environment, a health and safety Maryland bill is moving forward to help this come to light.

“Strong support, it unanimously passed the Senate it’s now I believe moving through the House side,” Senator Mary Beth Carozza said.

It’s called the George Walter Taylor Act named after a firefighter who died from cancer linked to PFAS exposure.

“It just goes to show when you learn that something like this toxic chemical can have this type of detrimental effect on our firefighters that you work through it and we ended up passing this ban,” Sen. Carozza said.

The bill would protect Marylander’s from toxic PFAS chemicals by banning the use of fire fighting foam laced with them, as well as carpets and food packaging.

“As far as the packaging, that is a huge issue certainly some companies are starting to make their changes already on their own, for instance McDonald’s is,” Cindy Dillon, the Chair of the Lower Eastern Shore Group of the MD Sierra Club, said.

Health experts warn that these chemicals are everywhere, and if they get in your body, they are there forever impacting us in many ways.

“The biggest ones that everyone thinks of are the cancers that are related to it, I mean there’s a myriad of cancers that can be tied back to it, but also like pregnant woman can have hypertension, low birth weight,” Christopher Truitt, Assistant Chief of EMS at the Salisbury Fire Department, said.

Truitt said the news on banning fire fighting foam is great, especially because their job of taking on those fires is already a dangerous one.

“We use it for any kind of liquid type fires, so gasoline fires, petroleum based fires, things of that nature, and fortunately we don’t run into that a lot,” Truitt said.

But, while we don’t know if this bill will make it to the Governor’s desk yet, some advocates we spoke with are hopeful.

“That’s a huge problem that its already in our environment, but if they we can stop it being introduced continuing to pour into our environment that would be a step in the right direction,” Dillon said.

Christopher Truitt said currently there’s no body on the market that sells PFAS free fire fighting gear. So, they’ll need to look at where they will get gear and equipment from and then they will need to evaluate costs.

Links to Sierra Club and legislation:

https://www.sierraclub.org/maryland/lower-eastern-shore-group

https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Legislation/Details/sb0273

Categories: Local News, Maryland