Water Contamination Far Worse Than Expected
Additional tests on several major water supply systems recently revealed the amount of drinking water contamination in municipal water supplies is far worse than originally expected. In the study conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), large amounts of toxic chemicals were found in drinking water supplies throughout the nation.
After testing samples from 31 different states, EWG researchers concluded tap water in almost every location contained unhealthy levels of perfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS chemicals. These chemicals have been used in the manufacture of industrial, military, and commercial products, such as pesticides, water repellant fabric coatings, non-stick cookware, and firefighting foams. Unlike other types of pollutants, these toxins remain in the environment for thousands of years, earning the nickname of “forever” chemicals. Over 30 different types of PFAS chemicals have been detected in municipal tap water.
Two PFAS compounds, PFOA and PFOS, were detected at 30 of the 44 sample locations. PFOA was a main component in the substance used to make Teflon, while PFOS used to be a main ingredient in the 3M sealant, Scotchgard, and firefighting foams used by the military. The following locations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania tested positive for unacceptable levels of PFAS chemicals:
- Bergen County, New Jersey
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Tested samples were taken between May and December 2019.
Lack of Mandated Testing
The higher than expected levels discovered by EWG highlights an ongoing problem with the government’s lack of mandated testing for PFAS toxins in the nation’s water supplies. The Environmental Protection Agency abandoned its mandatory sampling program in 2015 and even then only required water utilities to report the presence of PFAS chemicals at extremely high levels. Safety advocates caution this lack of mandatory testing results in underreporting of contamination.
Effects of Toxic Exposure
Individuals who consume drinking water contaminated with PFAS toxins can develop significant medical conditions. The development of certain types of cancer, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, other neurological conditions, and blood disorders has been linked to exposure to PFAS chemicals. Young children and pregnant women are especially vulnerable to toxic exposure. Exposure to PFAS toxins can harm fetal development. The effectiveness of vaccines on young children is also affected by exposure to PFAS chemicals. Unfortunately, many of these physical injuries can take years to manifest, making it difficult for injured individuals to identify toxic exposure as the reason behind their illnesses.
Liability for Toxic Exposure Injuries
Companies releasing dangerous toxins into the environment should be held responsible for their misconduct. Individuals injured by exposure to toxins can file a civil lawsuit against these parties to obtain compensation for the costs of medical treatment, pain and suffering, and loss of property value.
Philadelphia Environmental Contamination Lawyers at Williams Cedar Help Toxic Exposure Victims Obtain Compensation
If you or a loved one was exposed to toxic materials resulting in a physical injury, compensation may be available. The experienced Philadelphia environmental contamination lawyers at William Cedar work with toxic exposure victims and their families to help them obtain the maximum amount of compensation for these injuries. Our offices are conveniently located in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey to best serve individuals exposed to environmental contamination throughout Pennsylvania, South Jersey, and nationwide. To schedule your free consultation, call us today at 215-557-0099 or submit an online inquiry form.