Stabenow, Peters, Casey, Fetterman Introduce Legislation to Ensure Health Care for Veterans Exposed to PFAS Chemicals

Friday, July 14, 2023

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Gary Peters (D-MI), Bob Casey (D-PA) and John Fetterman (D-PA) introduced the Veterans Exposed to Toxic PFAS Act (VET PFAS Act) which would require the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to provide health care services and benefits to veterans exposed to toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) at military installations. Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-08) is the author of the House companion bill. 

“Our veterans shouldn’t have to stand at the back of any line for their health care, especially when they face health risks because of their service,” said Senator Stabenow. “Our bill makes sure veterans and their families harmed by PFAS chemicals will be eligible for treatment and benefits from the VA.”

“We know that PFAS contamination can cause serious health issues,” said Senator Peters. “This much-needed bill would ensure our veterans and their families who sacrificed for our country and were unknowingly exposed to PFAS contamination can access the VA health care and benefits they deserve.”

“We will never be able to fully repay our servicemembers for their sacrifice, but we can, and we must, take care of them now,” Senator Casey said. “The Veterans Exposed to Toxic PFAS Act will allow veterans exposed to PFAS contamination related to their service to claim the disability benefits they deserve. I will keep fighting to ensure our servicemembers, veterans, and all Americans have access to safe, clean water.”

“It’s just common sense that we need to provide our veterans with the benefits and healthcare they deserve after being exposed to harmful substances. Our veterans deserve the best of the best, and this is no exception. I’m proud to co-sponsor this bill,” said Senator Fetterman.

The VET PFAS Act ensures that illnesses connected to PFAS exposure are considered a service-connected disability, making veterans exposed to PFAS eligible for disability payments and medical treatment from the VA. High cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, testicular cancer, kidney cancer, pregnancy-induced hypertension and other health issues have been linked to exposure to PFAS.

The military’s heavy use of a firefighting foam has resulted in widespread PFAS contamination around military sites. These chemicals are dangerous to human health, and many veterans have been exposed as part of their military service.

For years, Senators Stabenow and Peters have led efforts to address PFAS contamination and keep Michigan families safe. In past defense budget bills, the Senators passed legislation to clean up contaminated sites and invest millions to study the health impacts of PFAS exposure. This bill would build on their efforts to keep Michigan veterans and their families safe.

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