The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced this week that $2 billion from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law would be allocated to addressing emerging contaminants like per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water sources across the country. With this funding, which will be made available to small, rural, and disadvantaged communities, the government aims to improve access to safe and clean drinking water and reduce levels of toxic PFAS chemicals, which have been linked to cancer and other serious health problems. If you or someone you know developed cancer or another major illness after being exposed to PFAS in drinking water, contact Consumer Safety Watch today. You may be able to pursue compensation for the injuries you have suffered as a result of PFAS exposure.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a once-in-a-generation investment to help communities nationwide combat PFAS pollution and safeguard drinking water sources. The law includes a total investment of $5 billion over five years to help communities that have been the most affected by PFAS contamination in drinking water. The initial $2 billion in funding will be used to “prioritize infrastructure and source water treatment for pollutants, like PFAS and other emerging contaminants, and to conduct water quality testing,” the EPA stated in a news release published on February 13, 2023.
PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a group of man-made chemicals used to make consumer and industrial products that resist heat, water, grease, and stains. Unfortunately, these same qualities mean PFAS break down very slowly and are persistent in the environment, making the chances of being exposed to them very high. Humans can be exposed to PFAS in the air, soil, food, and water, and the toxic chemicals can build up in the human body over time and cause harmful health effects.
“Too many American communities, especially those that are small, rural, or underserved, are suffering from exposure to PFAS and other harmful contaminants in their drinking water,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan in announcing the $2 billion funding for addressing PFAS and other emerging contaminants. “Thanks to President Biden’s leadership, we are investing in America and providing billions of dollars to strengthen our nation’s water infrastructure while safeguarding people’s health and boosting local economies. These grants build on EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap and will help protect our smallest and most vulnerable communities from these persistent and dangerous chemicals.”
One of the most well-known sources of human exposure to PFAS occurred at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, where the drinking water is known to have been contaminated with PFAS from at least 1953 through 1987. During that time, it is estimated that one million U.S. Marines, their family members, and others drank and bathed in Camp Lejeune’s water and were thus exposed to harmful, cancer-causing chemicals like benzene, vinyl chloride (VC), trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene, and perchloroethylene (PCE).
Thanks to a new bipartisan bill passed in August 2022, veterans and others who developed cancer, birth defects, Parkinson’s disease, and other adverse health outcomes after being exposed to PFAS in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune finally have an opportunity to pursue compensation from the U.S. government for the harm they have suffered. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 opens up a two-year window during which individuals who lived, worked, or were exposed in-utero to PFAS-contaminated water at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 can file a claim against the government, including those whose injury claims were previously denied or delayed.
A number of scientific studies over the years have examined the potential link between PFAS exposure and harmful health effects in humans. If you or a loved one suffered exposure to PFAS at Camp Lejeune or from some other source of contamination, contact Consumer Safety Watch to find out how we can help. You may be entitled to compensation for the harm you and your loved ones have suffered, which you can pursue by filing a PFAS water contamination lawsuit against the chemical manufacturer or other at-fault parties.