Perfluoroalkyl (PFAS) Forever Chemical Lawsuits
Matthews & Associates Law Firm is investigating cases for people who developed cancer after being exposed to perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as forever chemicals.
Forever Chemicals and Cancer
PFAS have long been used in manufacturing and industrial production. They have also been found in public and private water supplies all across the USA. Remediation for these forever chemicals is difficult and costly. Our firm may work with public and private entities to recover costs for removing and remediating PFAS in the environment. We may also represent people, such as firefighters, who have been diagnosed with cancer following heavy PFAS exposure.
We may file or settle a claim individually or as part of a group on a case-by-case basis.
Whether your claim is filed individually or as part of a group fighting the same defendant, our goal is always to provide each of our clients with individual attention.
What Are PFAS?
PFAS – Perfluoroalkyl substances are a critical element in water and stain repellents for textiles such as carpets, fabrics, and furniture upholstery.
These chemicals are also used in the manufacture of:
- flame retardants and extinguishing foams
- food packaging
- ink (such as in store receipts)
- non-stick cookware coatings
- hydraulic fluids for auto and aerospace industries
- medical devices
- color copier and printer components
- metal plating (such as chrome)
PFAS have been a major source of revenue for manufacturers Du Pont and 3M for decades, bringing annual revenue of some $1 billion. PFAS bring additional profits in a secondary market, in emulsifiers for lubricants, paints, polishes, and spray-on coatings. These secondary market sales bring PFAS’ producers $100 million more per year.
Human Health Consequences
PFAS’ impact on human and animal health can result from exposure levels as low as 1 part per trillion. PFAS are a recognized human carcinogen. Exposure can cause cancer and numerous other diseases. Our firm is currently investigating cases for people exposed to PFAS who developed:
- Kidney Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Testicular Cancer
- Ulcerative Colitis
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PFAS have been used for decades and testing reveals they are now found throughout our environment, in soils, waterways, and even in the bodies of animals and humans. The Environmental Working Group published a report in June 2017 that found PFAS contamination in the water supplies of 27 states, affecting some 15 million Americans. PFAS have been found in virtually all human, domestic animal, and wildlife blood. These chemicals were listed in 2009 as “persistent organic pollutants” – or POPs – under the Stockholm Convention. That international treaty was ratified in 2004 to stop the manufacture and use of non-biodegradable substances such as PFAS.
PFAS don’t succumb to natural degradation. Natural processes – such as decay, sun, weather exposure – don’t break them down. They remain forever after being released in the world. Scientific studies show the half-life of PFAS (the time in which half the amount of a substance degrades) to be 10,000 years. In water supplies, that half-life is more than a million years.
The State of Minnesota Sues PFAS Polluters, Wins
In February 2018, the State of Minnesota settled with 3M, maker of water-repellent Scotchgard. That settlement resolved litigation begun in 2010 after state health authorities discovered an unusual number of premature births and cases of cancer in the Minneapolis area. State Attorney General Lori Swanson announced that she would seek punitive damages that would have cost the defendant $5 billion. Just prior to the case’s going to trial, 3M settled it for $850 million, without admitting any wrongdoing. Ms. Swanson said the settlement funds will be used for PFAS removal.