Senators Laud DOD for Imposing Anti-PFAS Procurement Rules
WASHINGTON — The lead Senate sponsors of the PFAS Free Military Purchasing Act this week lauded the Department of Defense’s recent decision to make its own stand against the proliferation of so-called “forever chemicals.”
Late last month, the Defense Department issued a Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement prohibiting the procurement of certain items containing perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) or perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).
Collectively known as PFAS, the family of over 4,000 highly fluorinated substances are extremely mobile, virtually impossible to clean up once released into an area, and tremendously harmful to human and animal health.
PFAS exposure has been linked to a number of serious health conditions, including cancer, liver damage, decreased fertility, and increased risk of asthma and thyroid disease.
They are found in many everyday items like food service ware, carpets and rugs, clothing and cosmetics.
The DOD’s restriction, which takes effect on April 1, 2023, applies to nonstick cookware or cooking utensils for use in galleys or dining facilities; and upholstered furniture, carpets and rugs that have been treated with stain-resistant coatings.
On Monday, Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., who are pushing the Senate to adopt an even more expansive ban on military purchases, applauded the Pentagon’s decision.
“PFAS chemicals are a pernicious threat to the health of our service members and military families,” Shaheen said in a written statement.
“I am pleased that the department has taken action to stop purchasing certain products that contain these hazards. I will continue to work to protect our service members and military families from unnecessary exposure to these chemicals,” she added.
Blumenthal predicted the DOD ban will go a long way towards protecting the health of members of the armed forces.
“PFAS-free products are widely available and the DOD is helping lead the way in making the switch to healthier alternatives,” he said. “Still, more action is necessary to eliminate all items containing these toxins from use to stop needlessly putting members of our military and their families at risk — and to spur the transition away from PFAS for all Americans.
“My and Sen. Shaheen’s legislation would ban DOD from procuring any PFAS-containing items, and we will continue fighting for its passage for the sake of our service members,” he said.