Perfluorinated compounds, often referred to as PFCs or PFAS, including perfluorooctane sulfonate (“PFOS”) and perfluorooctanoic acid (“PFOA”), have now been found to contaminate groundwater and municipal water supplies in many places in the U.S. and throughout the world. Due to the strength of multiple carbon-fluorine bonds, PFCs break down very slowly in the environment. PFCs are chemically biologically stable and resistant to environmental degradation, and can persist in the environment for decades. PFCs are also water soluble, making them mobile in groundwater and the environment.
Toxicology studies show that PFCs are readily absorbed after oral exposure and accumulate in the human body. There are a number of health risks associated with exposure to PFCs. For example, PFOS and PFOA exposure is associated with increased risk in humans of testicular cancer and kidney cancer, disorders such as thyroid disease, high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, and pregnancy-induced hypertension, as well as other conditions. The U.S. E.P.A. has also advised that exposure to PFCs may result in developmental effects to fetuses during pregnancy or to breast-fed infants.
PFOA Releases from Manufacturing Facilities
PFCs including PFOA and PFOS are used in a wide variety of manufacturing processes, including the manufacture of coatings, liquid repellants, surfactants and firefighting foams. PFCs released from these processes can contaminate the air, and because they are highly mobile, contaminate soil and groundwater, or separately contaminate groundwater through direct releases to soil or groundwater.
The Hannon Law Firm, LLC has filed two class action suits against Saint-Gobain Corporation and plant manager Gwenael Busnel in New Hampshire for damages due to groundwater contamination from PFCs. One suit seeks damages for loss in property value, mitigation costs, water expenses, annoyance and discomfort and loss of use and enjoyment for residents who are supplied water from affected wells. The second suit seeks the costs to establish a medical monitoring program for the early detection of illness, disease processes and disease due to exposure to the contaminated water.
AFFF Foam Containing PFCs
For decades certain companies manufactured and sold Aqueous Film Forming Foam (“AFFF”), a firefighting suppressant, including to the United States Military and for commercial use at airports. Uses included firefighting training exercises. AFFF contains toxic Perfluorinated Compounds (“PFCs”), which include perfluorooctane sulfonate (“PFOS”) and perfluorooctanoic acid (“PFOA”), perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHpA) and other species of PFCs. Numerous military bases around the country used AFFF. Groundwater testing around military bases has confirmed the presence of PFCs from AFFF in groundwater. The Hannon Law Fim., LLC has filed some of the first class actions in the country against 3M Company and other manufacturers of AFFF foam for ground water contamination from the PFCs in the AFFF foam.
Experience With Environmental Litigation
The Hannon Law Firm has filed some of the first class actions suits in the country for groundwater contamination for PFCS. The Hannon Law Firm LLC has represented numerous individuals and businesses in landmark cases for both personal injury and property damage resulting from toxic chemicals. The firm has pioneered groundbreaking approaches to protect and compensate its clients in trial courts and appeals courts. If you want to know more about the types of cases we can handle, or have in the past, please see our case results page.