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San Francisco firefighters rally against chemicals used in uniforms

San Francisco could be the first city in the nation to ban a common type of firefighter uniform found to emit cancer-causing chemicals.

Firefighters on Tuesday joined city leaders on the steps of city hall to voice their support for new legislation introduced in the afternoon requiring San Francisco provide new uniforms to its roughly 800 firefighters over the next two years.

“Each one of us knows members, has grown up with members, has had to help members who have had this horrible disease just kill their bodies,” said Floyd Rollins, San Francisco firefighters union president. “Since 2006, we are looking at over 300 San Francisco firefighters that have lost their lives.”

Nationwide, companies are still in the testing phase of developing uniforms that do not contain the cancer-causing chemical.

Last summer, the city made an agreement with the fire union to phase out the current uniforms, but Tuesday’s legislation would set a mandatory timeline.

Estimates show it could cost San Francisco roughly $10 million to replace every protective uniform in the department.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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