The Pentagon waited five years to begin taking action on PFAS chemicals after sending a 2011 alert advising about the risk of firefighting foam that contained the dangerous chemicals, a new DOD inspector general report said.

“[T]he 2011 risk alert was not a risk management action because it was not endorsed by the Emerging Chemicals of Concern Governance Council. Therefore, DoD officials were not required to plan, program, and budget for any actions in response to the 2011 risk alert,” the IG found, according to a summary. “EC Program officials did not require proactive risk management actions for PFAS‑containing [firefighting foam] until 2016.”

Among the IG’s recommendations are that the assistant defense secretary for readiness “develop a plan to track, trend and analyze DoD firefighter PFAS blood test results at a DOD‑wide level.”

Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Caitlin Russell