Pennsylvania PFAS Water Contamination Lawyers
One of the most serious violations of corporate trust and responsibility involves the manufacture and use of substances that cause harm to people and the environment. This is an unfortunately all too familiar scenario, and careless companies have hurt countless people.
Recently, lawsuits have been filed against companies that contaminated the groundwater supply in Pennsylvania by using dangerous products containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The Pennsylvania-American Water Company of Mechanicsburg is suing 3M, DOW, DuPont and more than a dozen others.
PFAS have been in production and heavy use for more than 60 years despite those companies knowing that these substances posed a serious threat to human health. If you suspect that PFAS has contaminated your water, you could be entitled to compensation for damages related to that exposure. Contact one of the caring Pennsylvania water contamination attorneys at MyPhillyLawyer to learn more about these cases.
What Are PFAS?
PFAS are a group of industrial chemicals that are frequently used in the production of water- and oil-repellent substances, including perfluoroctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluoroctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). PFAS stay in the environment and the human body for long periods and can cause serious health problems.
PFAS are found in a wide range of everyday products. Common sources of PFAS include:
- Nonstick coatings on cookware, like Teflon
- Fire suppression products, including aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF)
- Stain and water repellant treatments for furniture, carpeting and clothing, like Scotch Guard and Gore-Tex
- Food and restaurant packaging, especially fast food
PFAS exposure is so widespread that nearly everyone in the United States has some level in their body. It is especially dangerous when it gets into water sources, as it has in several large water systems in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania PFAS Water Contamination
PFAS are most dangerous when consumed in food and water. The manufacture and production of these chemicals and the secondary products that use them release PFAS into the environment. Fire-fighting foams are another major contributor to water contamination.
In addition to being in the water consumers drink and use every day, it is in many foods that they eat. Crops, fish and livestock in contact with contaminated water absorb and store the chemicals before being processed into food. Other foods come in contact with them through their packaging.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a health advisory which stated that PFAS levels in the water of more than 70 parts per trillion are dangerous to people. However, data suggest that the threshold for harm is much lower and that even one part per trillion is dangerous. No official federal regulation currently exists for PFAS levels in water.
Health Effects of PFAS Toxicity
PFAS are known as a “forever chemical” because they do not easily leave the body. Small amounts of PFAS build up over time with repeated exposures and eventually reach dangerous levels. PFAS pose multiple health risks for humans, including:
- Cancer, especially kidney and testicular cancer
- Hormone disruption
- Fertility issues, including uterine and ovarian damage
- Thyroid disease
- Higher cholesterol
- Liver and kidney damage, such as liver lesions, damaged liver function and kidney degeneration
- Developmental impairment
- Low birth weight
- Weakened immune system
Pennsylvania law grants people who have been injured two years to file a claim against whoever is liable for the damages. In cases like these involving long-term exposure to dangerous chemicals, that two-year period may begin when the discovery of harm (such as a diagnosis of a potentially PFAS-related disease) is made.
Possible damages in a PFAS water contamination case can be significant and include monetary and non-monetary damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering.
A court might also impose punitive damages against a company that negligently released or applied PFAS substances and contributed to the contamination. These companies should be held accountable for knowingly placing consumers in danger.
Contact a PFAS Water Contamination Lawyer Today
Increased attention on the dangers of PFAS toxicity over recent years has encouraged public criticism, but it may be too little, too late. These substances have already hurt many people, and the environmental devastation they have caused cannot be undone.
If you suspect that PFAS has contaminated your water, contact an experienced environmental lawyer to determine whether or not you may have a case.
MyPhillyLawyer Can Help
MyPhillyLawyer is available to you if you suspect that you or a loved one have been affected by PFAS water contamination. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay nothing upfront. If you are not compensated for your damages, then there are no fees.