California initiates ‘first of its kind’ lawsuit against ‘Forever Chemical’ company

California is suing a number of big chemical companies over “fluctuating” water pollution forever chemicals.

The US state launched legal action against 3M Co, DuPont de Nemours Inc and 16 other smaller chemical companies on Thursday.

The lawsuit accuses the company of knowingly marketing highly toxic persistent chemicalsthat have polluted waterways and human bodies.

Both 3M and DuPont have vowed to challenge these claims and defend their track record of “environmental responsibility.”

What are forever chemicals?

Forever chemicals are highly toxic to human and environment.

They never break down and do not build up in our bodies and have been linked to cancer, stunted growth and other serious health problems.

This lawsuit is the latest in a series cases Over the years, US cities and states have sued more than a dozen manufacturers and sellers of the harmful chemicals.

These substances, collectively referred to as per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFAS), are used in many everyday items such as fire-fighting foam, non-stick frying pans, cleaning sprays, water-repellent sports equipment, stain-resistant carpets, cosmetics and countless other products.

Announcement of the lawsuit on Thursday, California Attorney General Rob Bonta claimed that the companies knew about the toxic effects of PFAS and covered it up.

“This is a very unique case because it’s nationwide, obviously the first of its kind, in the largest state in the country, the fourth largest economy in the world, and seeking relief nationwide,” Bonta said at a news conference.

“There is no other case of this type in the United States of America.”

What impact do they claim to have on the environment?

The lawsuit, filed against 18 companies, seeks damages and nationwide treatment and destruction of PFAS. This also includes their removal drinking water and irrigation systems.

Bonta estimated the damage at hundreds of millions of dollars.

DuPont spokesman Daniel Turner said the company has never made PFOA, PFOS or firefighting foam.

“We believe these complaints are unfounded… We look forward to vigorously defending our safety, health and environmental record,” he added.

In a statement, 3M spokeswoman Carolyn LaViolette said the company has “acted responsibly around products containing PFAS and will defend its record of environmental responsibility.”

Chemicals have always been found in drinking water, rivers, lakes, wildlife and plants blood vessels about 98 percent of California’s approximately 39 million residents, says Bonta.

Nearly 146 public water systems and aquifers supply millions of Californian with water also contain PFAS.

“The damage done by 3M, DuPont and other manufacturers of PFAS is nothing short of staggering, and without drastic action, California will deal with the damage from these toxic chemicals for generations to come,” Bonta said.

Thousands of health and health lawsuits have been filed against chemical companies over the past two decades environmental damage by PFAS.

3M alone faces more than 2,000 lawsuits from individuals, water agencies, states and cities alleging contamination from PFAS chemicals. According to Bloomberg, they could cost the company up to 30 billion euros.

“As a result of decades of deception, PFAS are in our waters, our clothes, our homes and even our bodies,” Bonta said in the statement.

Source