Massachusetts Attorney General files suit against PFAS manufacturers

ByAnn Erika

Jun 1, 2022 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Massachusetts Lawyer Typical Maura Healey has submitted go well with in opposition to much more than a dozen makers of firefighting foams that incorporate PFAS chemicals that have been joined to a selection of critical health complications.

Poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances — generally referred to as “eternally chemical compounds” because they don’t very easily crack down in the ecosystem — have been joined to cancers, liver and thyroid problems, developmental and immune procedure troubles, and other overall health problems.

“Our lawsuit currently goes soon after the suppliers who appeared previous all of these harms for a long time — for many years — and retained selling and putting this foam merchandise out there, like offering and pushing it to govt entities, municipalities, regional fireplace departments and organizations appropriate in this article in Massachusetts,” Healey mentioned at a push convention Wednesday saying the lawsuit. “Their steps violate point out and federal legislation that are intended to protect our people and spot high-priced burdens on our communities that are now pressured to clean up this mess.”

The go well with targets 13 chemical suppliers, like 3M, Dupont and Tyco, alleging the companies hid details about the toxicity of PFAS, submitted bogus details to the EPA and attempted to prevent personnel from discussing the threat the chemicals pose.

The accommodate also names two businesses the lawyer general alleges have been involved in “shielding belongings” that can be specific by the suit.

“We’re holding these producers accountable for their deception, [and] demanding them to spend back every single last greenback our condition has put in on their products to thoroughly clean up the contamination,” Healey reported. “We want them to restore our important all-natural sources and assure that the h2o we drink and use in our daily life is not at possibility as a consequence of PFAS goods here in Massachusetts.”

Healey mentioned PFAS contamination has been discovered in more than 80 Massachusetts communities, such as Stowe, Chicopee, Weymouth, Abington, Rockland and on Cape Cod.

The attorney general’s lawsuit was filed in federal district court, and Healey mentioned it will likely be consolidated with hundreds of other lawsuits that have been submitted versus the manufacturers.

The lawsuit is concentrated on contamination triggered by the presence of PFAS in firefighting foam, but Healey acknowledged the substances are in solutions ranging from non-stick cookware to cosmetics.

“Our aim and our lens is on focusing on the folks that essentially made PFAS in whatever variety, so that we are able to recover and safe income to aid remedy the problem,” she claimed.

In April, a condition undertaking force concentrated on PFAS contamination issued a report building 30 tips, together with expanding funding for detection and remediation of the chemical substances, increasing regulation of PFAS and supporting men and women who have grow to be unwell as a consequence of exposure to the chemicals.

The president of the Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts, Richard MacKinnon Jr., praised the fit at Wednesday’s push convention. “A lot more firefighters die of occupational cancer than nearly anything else we confront,” MacKinnon stated. “And this PFAS, these permanently chemicals, has been demonstrated and linked to cause these cancers that our firefighters get. So we see this as a great move in that battle versus the epidemic of firefighter most cancers.”

In February, a group of 15 Massachusetts firefighters who have been diagnosed with or taken care of for most cancers sued extra than 20 companies and distributors of their protective clothes due to the fact it contained PFAS.

Point out Senator Julian Cyr, who represents Cape Cod communities influenced by contamination, explained at Wednesday’s push convention that the problem is in depth and pricey.

“Whilst we are functioning to allocate assets in the legislature and putting ahead a road map about how we stage out PFAS in our natural environment and minimize the possibility of well being exposures, this lawsuit is really likely to get started to garner the legitimate methods that we want to handle the situation and have these responsible for these affects paying out for it,” Cyr said.

In a statement, 3M defended its solution, aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), as a important software.

“To this working day, the only products that satisfies the army specification governing firefighting foam is PFAS-dependent AFFF, thanks to these substances’ unique and lifetime-conserving properties,” the assertion reads. “3M acted responsibly in relationship with its manufacture and sale of AFFF and will vigorously protect its report of environmental stewardship.”

One more firm named in the lawsuit, Dupont de Nemours, explained in a assertion to GBH News that by a challenging history of mergers and spinning off of providers, they aren’t accountable for PFAS and should not have been named in Healey’s fit.

“DuPont de Nemours has never ever created PFOA, PFOS or firefighting foam,” the statement reads. “Whilst we really do not remark on pending litigation, we believe that this grievance is without the need of merit, and is the hottest example of DuPont de Nemours being improperly named in litigation. We glimpse forward to vigorously defending our record of protection, wellness and environmental stewardship.”

This tale originally appeared on GBH.



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