In recent years, cities and municipalities across the country have been grappling with a significant environmental and public health issue: per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) water contamination. This contamination has been linked to the use of firefighting foam, specifically aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), which contains toxic PFAS chemicals. The widespread presence of PFAS in water supplies has raised concerns about the long-term health effects on individuals and the environment. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer or another serious adverse health condition you believe to be related to PFAS exposure from firefighting foam or contaminated drinking water, contact Consumer Safety Watch as soon as possible.
PFAS are a group of synthetic chemicals that have been used in various consumer products and industrial applications since the 1950s. These “forever chemicals” are so named because they do not break down easily in the environment or the human body. PFAS have been used in non-stick cookware, stain-resistant fabrics, food packaging, and firefighting foam, among other products.
AFFF, also known as firefighting foam, has been widely used by the military, fire departments, and industrial sites to combat fuel-based fires. While effective in extinguishing fires, AFFF contains PFAS compounds that can contaminate water sources. Runoff from firefighting training and operations, as well as improper disposal of AFFF, has led to the widespread presence of PFAS in U.S. water supplies.
Exposure to PFAS has been linked to a range of health issues, including an increased risk of cancer, liver damage, decreased fertility, asthma, and immune system dysfunction. Numerous studies have highlighted the connection between PFAS exposure and the development of various types of cancer, such as kidney, testicular, pancreatic, and prostate cancer.
Research has shown that even low levels of PFAS can have adverse health effects for exposed individuals. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has found PFAS in the blood of nearly every person tested in the United States, indicating widespread exposure. The persistence of PFAS in the environment and the chemicals’ ability to accumulate in the human body raise concerns about the long-term consequences of exposure.
In response to the PFAS water contamination crisis, cities and municipalities nationwide are pursuing legal claims against the manufacturers of PFAS and AFFF. These legal actions seek to hold the responsible parties accountable for the contamination and the resulting health and environmental damages.
Manufacturers, such as 3M Company and DuPont, have faced thousands of lawsuits filed by local water providers seeking compensation for the costs associated with remediation and the impact on public health. The proposed settlement agreements by these companies have faced significant opposition from cities and municipalities, who argue that they are neither fair nor adequate.
Cities and municipalities are contesting proposed PFAS water contamination settlements by 3M and DuPont, arguing that it does not adequately address the harm caused by PFAS contamination. The separate settlements by 3M Company and DuPont, totaling billions of dollars, have been criticized for letting the polluting companies off too easily.
One of the primary concerns raised by municipalities is that the settlement agreements only address a limited number of PFAS compounds out of the thousands that exist. Additionally, the settlements do not include smaller municipalities and townships that have also experienced PFAS water contamination. There are also concerns about the liability of companies for contamination that has not yet been detected.
Cities and municipalities nationwide have filed objections to the proposed settlements, asserting that they are neither fair nor reasonable. These objections highlight the need for a more comprehensive and accountable approach to address the PFAS water contamination crisis.
Numerous scientific studies have established a link between PFAS exposure and the development of cancer. Researchers have found that exposure to PFAS, including through contaminated drinking water sources, can increase the risk of various types of cancer, including kidney, testicular, pancreatic, and prostate cancer.
Additionally, the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN) conducted a study that revealed firefighters using AFFF have elevated blood levels of PFAS, such as perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS). Firefighters face a higher risk of exposure to PFAS from using firefighting foam, handling equipment and contaminated personal protective equipment (PPE), and occupying contaminated fire stations.
The pursuit of legal claims against the manufacturers of PFAS and AFFF aims to seek justice for the communities affected by water contamination and to secure compensation for the damages incurred. Cities and municipalities across the U.S. are joining forces to hold the responsible parties accountable for the environmental and public health consequences of PFAS contamination. The PFAS lawsuits seek to provide financial support for the remediation of contaminated water sources, ongoing monitoring and testing, medical expenses for individuals affected by PFAS-related health issues, and other costs associated with addressing the contamination.
The PFAS water contamination crisis has prompted cities and municipalities nationwide to demand an adequate settlement that addresses the full extent of the harm caused by PFAS exposure. The link between PFAS and serious health issues, including cancer, has underscored the urgency of addressing this widespread contamination. To learn more about the adverse effects of PFAS exposure or to determine whether you may be eligible to pursue a legal claim against PFAS or AFFF manufacturers, contact Consumer Safety Watch today.