On December 22nd 2021, Our Presumptive Parkinsons Bill was signed into law by Governor Hochul. This is a huge win for us .Under this law, any New York firefighter who suffers any medical condition related to Parkinson's that wasn't present before joining the service will be presumed to be related on-the-job exposure.
The bill was created in response to a study that showed firefighters' susceptibility to the disease. According to a study by the Neurotoxin Institute, full-time firefighters are 10 times more likely to suffer from Parkinson's disease than civilians.
Conditions that firefighters encounter on the job are the most likely culprit behind that drastic disparity. According to researchers, the increased use of plastics and other chemical compounds and the toxins they can create when they burn likely can be linked to why more firefighters come down with Parkinson's.
Then on December 31st 2021, The Family and Firefighter Protection Act was signed into law by the Governor.
The new policy prohibits the use of flame retardants in furniture, mattresses, and electronics cases. New York’s is the first in the US to restrict organohalogen flame retardants (OFRs) in electronics cases, and the state joins California and Maryland in restricting broad classes of these chemicals in furniture and bedding.
A growing body of scientific literature links chemicals used as flame retardants to cancer, hormone disruption, reproductive problems, and reduced IQ. Children are especially vulnerable to the effects of these toxic chemicals because they interact with their environment in unpredictable ways and are still developing. When they burn, chemicals used as flame retardants become even more toxic, making smoke more deadly and harsher to escape, and becoming potent cancer- causing chemicals that increase risk for fire fighters.
“Toxic chemicals used as flame retardants poison children and firefighters and don’t prevent fires. The Family and Firefighter Protection Act addresses this problem broadly, covering hundreds of toxic versions of this chemical problem rather than knocking them off one at a time as the State has done in the past” said Bobbi Wilding, Executive director of Clean and Healthy New York, which co-leads the JustGreen Partnership. “We thank Governor Hochul for signing this important bill into law and Senator Kaminsky, Assemblyman Engelbright, and the New York State legislature for championing this groundbreaking policy.”