By MARK PRATT, Related Press
Massachusetts has sued greater than a dozen firms concerned within the manufacture or advertising of so-called endlessly chemical substances, alleging they knowingly polluted the atmosphere and endangered public well being, state Legal professional Common Maura Healey stated Wednesday.
The businesses have recognized concerning the risks of PFAS chemical substances — present in firefighting foam and shopper merchandise — for years and violated each federal and state environmental legal guidelines, she stated at a information convention.
“For many years, these producers knew concerning the severe dangers extremely poisonous PFAS chemical substances pose to public well being, the atmosphere, and our consuming water — but they did nothing about it,” Healey stated.
The chemical substances have polluted greater than 126 public consuming water methods in 86 Massachusetts communities, the state says. These communities now face multimillion-dollar value tags to wash up the chemical substances, Healey stated.
“We’re holding these producers accountable for his or her deception,” she stated.
As well as, the chemical substances have contaminated lakes, streams, rivers, and coastal zones together with Cape Cod — areas important for marine life, the swimsuit says.
The American Chemistry Council, an business group that counts lots of the firms as members, declined to remark.
PFAS is brief for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances which are utilized in firefighting foams, nonstick frying pans, water-repellent materials, stain-resistant rugs and different merchandise.
They’re referred to as “endlessly chemical substances” as a result of their chemical bonds are so robust that they don’t degrade, or accomplish that solely slowly within the atmosphere, and stay in an individual’s bloodstream indefinitely.
They’ve been related to severe well being situations, together with most cancers and decreased beginning weight.
Firefighters throughout Massachusetts have been experienceing an epidemic of occupational most cancers, stated Wealthy MacKinnon, president of the Skilled Fireplace Fighters Affiliation of Massachusetts, which represents about 12,000 firefighters.
“We see this as an amazing step within the struggle in opposition to occupational most cancers,” he stated of the swimsuit.
The swimsuit, filed in federal court docket in South Carolina, will possible be consolidated with tons of of comparable lawsuits filed by by state attorneys normal, municipalities, and public water districts, Healey stated.
The defendants are 13 manufactuers and two firms Healey alleges shielded belongings that needs to be obtainable to treatment the damages attributable to PFAS contamination.
The Biden administration in October introduced efforts to higher regulate the chemical substances.
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