WASHINGTON — The National Rural Water Association (NWRA) said an issue with groundwater and its reported contamination by perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFAS) led them to sue multiple companies that have a history of using and selling such chemicals.
The NWRA said PFAS can be found in products such as firefighting foam, household and food products, industrial sites and landfills across the country.
Human exposure to these toxic substances, through use or contaminated drinking water, can reportedly lead to an increased risk for testicular cancer, kidney cancer, serious thyroid problems or ulcerative colitis.
According to the NRWA, the lawsuit will seek money for testing and treatment from the chemical manufacturers, The 3M Co., Tyco Fire Products L.P., National Foam, Inc., Buckeye Fire Protection, Chemguard, E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company ("DuPont") and The Chemours Company.
"The corporations we're suing today knew full well the health and environmental risks associated with PFAS," attorney Paul J. Napoli said. "It should not be up to NRWA members across the country to pay the extensive costs to test, treat, and remediate these contaminants. These companies betrayed the people. They knew the harm their products could cause yet hid this from both the government and the public, leaving many to pay for the consequences."
Part of the reason that the NWRA is going after these companies is that the organization believes communities will struggle to afford testing and treatment for PFAS contamination.
The National Rural Water Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to training, supporting, and promoting the water and wastewater professionals that serve small communities across the United States. The mission of NRWA is to strengthen State Associations.
For more information on the NRWA and how PFAS can be harmful, click here.