US state sues makers of ‘chemicals forever’ — RT World News
California accused 3M, DuPont and 16 other companies of deliberately covering up the harms of their products
The state of California has sued 18 chemical manufacturers for deliberately endangering the public and the planet. The companies knew that the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) they were manufacturing were « toxic and harmful to human health and the environmentbut chose to conceal that fact from its clients, the state alleged in its lawsuit filed Thursday in Alameda County Superior Court.
« PFAS are as ubiquitous in California as they are harmfulsaid Attorney General Rob Bonta in a statement released Thursday.
Known as « chemicals forever“, the substances are found in the blood of approximately 98% of Californians, as well as in the entire population of animals and fish, soil and waterways of the state. They are linked to many health problems , including half a dozen forms of cancer, developmental delays and abnormalities in children, infertility and immune problems.
The toxic effects of these chemicals, which are used to make cleaning products, kitchen utensils, packaging, clothing and footwear, paint and fire-fighting foam, have been known to manufacturers for years. 1950, says the lawsuit. In the 1960s, they were known to seep into groundwater. The following decade confirmed bioaccumulated substances in humans.
Meanwhile, companies insisted the substances were safe and continued to manufacture products containing them. DuPont claimed in 2003 that there was « no associated health effects« with still chemical exposure to PFOA, and that he was »not a human health problem.”
More than a decade after 3M stopped manufacturing the chemical PFOS forever under pressure from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, it still claimed « the large body of scientific evidence does not show that PFOS or PFOA cause adverse health effects in humans at current exposure levels, or even at the historically higher levels found in the blood.”
DuPont, 3M, Chemours, Chemguard and the other 12 defendant companies therefore knew of the dangers of PFAS when they manufactured and sold products containing them, the lawsuit says, meaning they not only failed to warn against the dangers, but actively concealed them.
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The lawsuit seeks an injunction as well as damages, penalties, restitution payments, and a comprehensive statewide abatement program”treatment and destruction of PFASand funding for medical monitoring and water replacement. True to their nickname, the substances are extremely difficult to remove from the environment and persist in living tissue unaffected by natural breakdown processes.
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