Washington, DC – July 18, 2023

In a bombshell revelation that’s sending shockwaves through the nation’s capital, Attorney General Brian L. Schwalb drops a legal bombshell. Over 25 chemical giants, including titans like The 3M Company (3M) and DuPont De Nemours, Inc. (DuPont), now face a lawsuit over toxic forever chemicals come to light.

These hazardous PFAS chemicals have been stealthily lurking in products that have polluted the District’s cherished natural resources.

Lawsuit Uncovers Toxic Forever Chemicals Attorney General for Washington DC

What Are These Forever Chemicals?

Forever chemicals is a nickname for a group of man-made substances known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS. These chemicals have been around since the 1940s, and they’ve been used in all sorts of products and industries.

Once released into the environment, they weave a web of contamination by infiltrating surface water and penetrating the soil, eventually seeping into groundwater. From there, they steadily infiltrate every level of the food chain, accumulating in plants, fish, wildlife, and ultimately, humans. The District, including DC Water, has already incurred substantial costs to investigate and address the extensive damage caused by PFAS contamination, a financial burden that this lawsuit seeks to place firmly on the shoulders of the defendants, those who manufactured, sold, and profited from AFFF products.

Lawsuit Uncovers Toxic "Forever Chemicals" Secrets

Alarming Health Risks Linked to PFAS Exposure in AFFF Products Demand Urgent Action

Research has painted a disturbing picture of the health hazards associated with PFAS exposure. The list of maladies includes reproductive and developmental defects, elevated cholesterol levels, liver damage or dysfunction, weakened vaccine response, lower infant birth weights, and heightened risks of kidney and testicular cancer.

The AFFF products in question, manufactured by the defendants, either contain PFOA and PFOS or deteriorate into these harmful components. For decades, these products have been used extensively by the military, commercial airports, and various other industrial facilities in and around the District to combat liquid-based fires.

District Takes Legal Action to Hold Polluters Accountable for PFAS Contamination

This lawsuit, spearheaded by the Office of the Attorney General, seeks to recoup the expenses required for a comprehensive investigation and cleanup of PFAS contamination within the District’s natural sanctuaries and waterways. It also aims to finance the monitoring and treatment of PFAS in stormwater discharges, as well as drinking water, wastewater, and biosolids. Due to allegations that the defendants concealed the pernicious effects of PFAS, the District is also seeking additional damages, including punitive measures.

As the legal battle unfolds, the District is poised to demonstrate that no corporation can evade responsibility for environmental transgressions that impact the lives of its citizens. Through this lawsuit, the quest for justice and accountability begins, driven by an unwavering commitment to safeguarding the health and well-being of the community.

Click here for information on EPA standards regarding PFAS and DC guidance related to drinking water.

Lawsuit Uncovers Toxic "Forever Chemicals" Secrets

New Law Takes Bold Steps to Eliminate PFAS in Products, Prioritizing Health and Accountability

The new law is a significant step toward protecting our health and environment from the harmful effects of PFAS. By banning all uses of these forever chemicals in products by 2032, except when deemed necessary for public health, it sends a clear message that our well-being comes first.

Manufacturers are also being held accountable, with a requirement to report their use of PFAS in products to the state by 2026. Additionally, specific bans on PFAS use in certain products starting in 2025 demonstrate a commitment to reducing our exposure to these hazardous substances. This proactive approach is essential in safeguarding our future generations and ensuring a cleaner, safer world for all.

For more information Click Here to visit the Office of the Attorney General for the Distric of Columbia.

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