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3M polluted drinking water with PFAS for decades. Will it have to pay for the clean up?

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3M polluted drinking water with PFAS for decades. Will it have to pay for the clean up?

Grist reporter Zoya Teirstein reports on a groundbreaking lawsuit that has been filed against a prominent chemical manufacturer for alleged contamination caused by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.

In a nutshell:

In 2016, the city of Stuart, Florida discovered dangerously high levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as "forever chemicals," in its drinking water supply. The city had unknowingly been poisoning its residents for an unknown length of time. Since then, Stuart has spent millions of dollars trying to remove PFAS from its water, but achieving complete removal is proving to be expensive and difficult. Stuart's lawsuit against 3M, the manufacturer of PFAS-containing firefighting foam, could have far-reaching financial consequences and determine who is responsible for cleaning up the contamination. The lawsuit is the first of over 4,000 similar cases and could result in a major mass tort payout if successful.

Key quote:

“3M will continue to remediate PFAS and address litigation by defending ourselves in court or through negotiated resolutions, all as appropriate", representatives of the company told Grist.

Big picture

The ripple effects of this legal battle are likely to extend beyond the courtroom. With mounting public awareness and concern regarding PFAS contamination, the lawsuit has the potential to amplify public pressure on both the chemical industry and governmental agencies responsible for safeguarding public health and the environment. In addition, it may galvanize communities and advocacy groups to demand swifter action in addressing PFAS pollution, driving the need for comprehensive solutions and increased transparency.

Read the full Grist story here.

Learn more about PFAS in EHN’s free guide, and check out our ongoing coverage and testing of products containing PFAS.

About the author(s):

EHN Staff

Articles written and posted by staff at Environmental Health News

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