A lawsuit filed by the Attorney General of Minnesota has revealed that 3M has known of the potential toxic effects of the PFOS family of chemicals since the 1970s. After settling the case in February for $850 million, the office of the Attorney General released documents from the case including internal reports, studies, memos and emails.
Internal emails show a possible effort to suppress or block negative reports on PFOS toxicity from reaching public light. An article published in 2003 by 3M staff epidemiologists noted that PFOS accumulation heightened cholesterol and triglyceride levels in humans but dismissed the effects as “minimal”. This directly contradicts a former report published by 3M epidemiologists in October of 2001 which the 2003 article was partially based. That report noted that the higher levels of cholesterol and triglycerides and warned of an increased risk of heart disease in humans exposed to PFOS and PFOA.
PFOA (Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid) and PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate) were key ingredients in Scotchguard (Scotch Tape) and several other products of the 3M corporation. Health studies on effects of PFOS accumulation humans since its development have shined a dark light on the family of chemicals. Negative effects on birthweight, the immune system, the thyroid, and possible carcinogenic properties have led to increased regulation – despite pushback from the companies such as 3M, Dow and DuPont.
An article by Bill Walker, Editor in Chief of Environmental Working Group, confirms that areas with PFOS contamination have been found in 19 US states and the countries of Australia, Canada, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands. New Jersey recently passed regulation to limit PFOS levels to 13 ppt (parts per trillion) after levels exceeding 580,000 ppt were detected near Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst outside of Trenton.
If you or someone you love developed health issues due to PFOS exposure or other environmental contaminant, contact our Philadelphia environmental lawyers at Williams Cedar at 215-557-0099 or contact us online. Our offices are centrally located in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey to serve clients throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and across the nation.