Baltimore sues companies over ‘forever chemical’ pollution in waterways and water system

By Adam Willis | The Baltimore Banner | November 7, 2022

Read the full article by Adam Willis (The Baltimore Banner)

"Baltimore sued a slew of chemical companies Friday, accusing them of “knowingly” allowing hazardous PFAS chemicals to contaminate its waterways and water system. The city joins a recent wave of cities and governments around the country pursuing legal action over the decades-long proliferation of so-called “forever chemicals.”

The city’s lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Maryland, targets more than 20 different manufacturers of a fire suppressant foam containing PFAS. The 44-page complaint names chemical giants 3M, based in Minnesota, and DuPont, based in Delaware, among other companies.

PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, have for decades been used widely in everything from fire extinguisher foam to food packaging to shampoos to nonstick cookware. Because of how slowly these chemicals break down — and due to their long-lasting contamination in soil and water — PFAS have become known as “forever chemicals.” They build up in animals and in humans, and exposure to some types of PFAS can lead to cancer, developmental problems and other health complications."