Raleigh, NC – Congresswoman Deborah Ross (NC-02) announced that North Carolina State University received a coveted National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) grant to study the health effects of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) on firefighters. Specifically, they will examine the degree to which the PFAS are absorbed into the skin from the treated fabric gear worn by firefighters.  The federal funding amount is $247,036.

“Since arriving in Congress, I have worked extensively with my Republican and Democratic colleagues to address PFAS contamination in our nation’s water, soil, and air,” said Congresswoman Ross. “I am so pleased that the talented researchers at NC State received funding to examine the ways these ‘forever chemicals’ threaten the safety of our firefighters. If we are to truly eliminate PFAS contamination in our communities, we must take a comprehensive approach, including utilizing the world-class research institutions, companies, and nonprofits in the Research Triangle area. I commend NC State for their commitment to solving our society’s most pervasive challenges, and I look forward to seeing what their research uncovers.”

Congresswoman Ross serves on the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee where she has consistently advocated for supporting research institutions and leveraging federal resources to eradicate PFAS contamination. In June, Congresswoman Ross led a letter with six other members of the North Carolina delegation to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Director Michael Regan urging the EPA to reconsider a Trump administration decision to deny a citizens’ petition filed by a group of NC-based environmental health and justice groups in 2020. The petition, filed under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), requested that EPA exercise its authority under TSCA to require Chemours to fund robust health and environmental testing for 54 PFAS manufactured by Chemours at its Fayetteville facility.

Congresswoman Ross also voted to pass the PFAS Action Act, legislation that would require comprehensive regulation of PFAS by establishing standards to protect drinking water from contamination and authorizing grants to drinking water utilities treating PFAS contamination.