Big Chemical Sued (again) Over Toxic Food Packaging Chemicals

Another state has filed a lawsuit against Big Chemical companies 3M, Dupont and six others over toxic chemicals used in food packaging and other products that have ended up contaminating the public drinking water. (source)  Here is a rundown of the pertinent facts:

• The toxic chemicals in question are PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances), PFOS and/or PFOA chemicals.   PFAS has been dubbed a ‘forever chemical’ because it persists in the environment for an undetermined length of time.

• New Hampshire has sued eight companies including 3M and the DuPont Co. for damage it says has been caused statewide by a class of potentially toxic chemicals found in pizza boxes, fast-food wrappers and drinking water.

• New Hampshire is the second in the nation to go after the makers and distributors of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, and the first to target statewide contamination.

• New York state has sued six companies that made firefighting foam containing PFOS and/or PFOA chemicals that it says have contaminated drinking water in two communities and groundwater in another.

• In addition to food packaging in fast food and processed grocery store food, the toxic chemicals have also been used in waterproofing and stain-resistant coatings on a wide variety of consumer products and are commonplace in households across the United States.

• Firefighting foam containing PFAS has seeped into groundwater and waterways around military bases, airports and fire stations.

• The Environmental Protection Agency which has been dragging its feet on the matter announced plans earlier this year to consider limits on the toxic chemicals.

• In 2016, EPA-mandated testing of about 5,000 of the roughly 150,000 public water systems in the U.S. found dangerous levels of the same two PFAS compounds in 66 public water systems.

• Toxic chemical compounds PFAS/PFOS/PFOA have been linked to a number of serious health-related outcomes including cancer, kidney disease, pregnancy problems, weight gain and diabetes.

 

pfas2 info graphic-michigan dept of environ quality

This research just in:

Compostable food containers could release PFAS into environment

Compostable food containers seem like a great idea: They degrade into nutrient-rich organic matter, reducing waste and the need for chemical fertilizers. But much of this packaging relies on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to repel water and oil. Now, researchers have shown that PFAS can leach from the containers into compost. However, the potential health effects of applying this material to crops are unknown.

⇒ See other CFL posts on PFAS, PFOS/PFOA:

 

Kids Carry Toxic Chemicals in Their Bodies from Vinyl Flooring, Furniture

Toxic Forever-Chemical in Your Drinking Water: Status Update

Toxic Industrial Chemicals Pass to Fetus Throughout Pregnancy: Scientists

Toxic Chemical Discovered in Dental Floss

Life-Altering Toxic Chemicals: A Brief History

Safer Chemical on Non-Stick Cookware Actually Quite Dangerous, says EPA

Increased weight gain linked with common chemicals

Chemicals of Concern in One-Third of Fast Food Packaging: New Study

Researchers Discover High Levels of Toxic Industrial Chemical in U.S. Drinking Water


 

PFAS infographic: Department of Environmental Quality, MI