Hiding Risks Of PFAS
3M, DuPont de Nemours, The Chemours Co. and others have been hit by a suit in South Carolina federal court brought by a man who alleges that he developed prostate cancer from his exposure to firefighting foam containing the so-called forever chemicals.
Billie Sanders and his wife allege that the chemical companies knew for years about the health hazards linked to aqueous film-forming foams containing the long-lasting, toxic chemicals known as PFASt. The chemicals have been the subject of increasing litigation in recent years and have been linked to cancer, thyroid disease and other health problems.
Aqueous film-forming foam, or AFFF, was introduced to the marketplace in the mid-1960s, and by the end of that decade, animal testing carried out by the companies indicated that exposure to the chemicals caused adverse health effects in laboratory animal.
By 2010, additional research and testing found multiple possible health effects among workers exposed to PFAS, such as increased incidence of cancer and hormone changes.
When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and public health agencies began to learn about the health effects of PFAS exposure, the companies assured them that there were no risks from being exposed.
And when the EPA asked them to stop making certain PFAS, the companies started making new PFAS chemicals, including ones called Gen-X.
Those short-chain PFAS chemicals have also been linked to health risks.
The Sanderses bring negligence, design defect, battery, inadequate warning and other claims against the companies.
The complaint didn’t specify when Billie Sanders was exposed to AFFF or when he developed cancer but stated that the statute of limitations shouldn’t apply because the companies fraudulently hid the safety information about PFAS.