The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) and the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) recently filed a complaint in federal court against Inhance Technologies USA, asking for an injunction that would immediately halt the company’s production of PFAS-contaminated food containers. The claim states that Inhance, a leading food container manufacturer in the United States, uses a process called fluorination to improve the barrier properties of its high-density polyethylene and other plastic food containers, thereby putting consumers at risk for exposure to cancer-causing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer allegedly caused by exposure to toxic PFAS, contact Consumer Safety Watch as soon as possible to find out whether you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of manmade chemicals that have been used in numerous applications in the U.S. since the 1950s. Given their ability to resist grease, oil, and water, PFAS are widely used in a number of consumer and industrial products, including household products many consumers use on a daily basis, such as nonstick cooking pans, waterproof jackets, and food packaging. They are often referred to as “forever chemicals,” because most PFAS don’t break down over time and are known to persist in the environment and accumulate in the human body. In fact, a study published in 2007 found that more than 98% of humans have PFAS in their blood, an alarming discovery given that PFAS are endocrine-disrupting chemicals that are capable of causing changes in the human body and brain and contributing to serious diseases or even death.
Despite evidence dating back to the 1950s illustrating the dangers of PFAS, the general public has remained largely in the dark about the prevalence of PFAS chemicals in the environment and consumer products and their potential health risks. However, PFAS chemicals have been highlighted in the news quite a bit recently, due to growing concerns about the potential link between PFAS exposure and cancer. One of the most talked-about routes of exposure to PFAS is the use of aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), more commonly known as firefighting foam, which has been linked to increased rates of prostate cancer, testicular cancer, bladder cancer, pancreatic cancer, and other types of cancer.
As more information comes to light about the adverse impact of PFAS chemicals on human health and the environment, federal regulators and environmental groups have sought additional details concerning the manufacture, import, and use of PFAS in the U.S. According to allegations raised in this new forever chemicals lawsuit, Inhance Technologies knowingly applied PFAS chemicals to the surfaces of ketchup, mayonnaise, and other plastic food containers through a process known as fluorination, in which fluorine gas is applied to the container under high temperatures to improve its barrier properties. The lawsuit cites a 2022 open letter from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to manufacturers and others that distribute, use, and dispose of fluorinated food containers, in which the EPA warns that certain types of fluorination may produce PFAS.
In the lawsuit, the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) and the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) allege that Inhance has violated regulations established by the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to prevent “unintended PFAS formation and contamination.” The environmental groups filed the complaint against the manufacturer on December 27, 2022, asking the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to issue an injunction that would immediately halt the company’s production of PFAS-contaminated food containers.
Manufacturers of manmade PFAS chemicals like perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) stand to face years of liability exposure over cancer and other adverse health outcomes, as well as environmental damage, linked to the “forever chemicals.” Just last month, 3M Company, one of the largest producers of PFAS chemicals, announced in a press release that it will “exit PFAS manufacturing” by the end of 2025. If you or a member of your family has suffered cancer or another adverse health outcome you believe to be related to PFAS exposure, contact Consumer Safety Watch right away. An experienced attorney can help you determine whether you may be eligible for compensation by filing a PFAS contamination lawsuit.