HARRISBURG, PA — Attorney General Michelle Henry announced that the Office of Attorney General filed an action this week against DuPont and two other chemical companies for the continued manufacturing and distribution of products containing “forever chemicals,” which have been proven to be harmful to the environment and animals and increase risk of human disease.
The Office of Attorney General represents the Commonwealth and Department of Environmental Protection in filing a complaint in Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, seeking restitution, civil penalties, and other costs to be determined.
DuPont, Chemours, and Corteva companies caused widespread environmental damages due to the PFAS, or “forever chemicals,” contained in products such as AFFF, a foam substance used by firefighters in training exercises.
The Office of Attorney General alleges the companies are in violation of Pennsylvania’s Consumer Protection Law.
“For decades, these companies have known of the dangers and damages these products can inflict on humans, animals, and our natural resources,” Attorney General Henry said. “Pennsylvanians have a right to breathe clean air and drink clean water. This civil action seeks recovery of costs related to cleaning up these harmful chemicals, as well as penalties against companies who have chosen to look the other way.”
PFAS have been linked to possible health effects, such as thyroid disease, and a reduced ability of the immune system to fight infections. They also reduce fetal growth and present increased risks for some forms of cancer.
PFAS are used in hundreds of household products, which increases the chance for human exposure. “Forever chemicals” break down slowly, if at all, and can build up in human and animal blood with repeated and long-term exposure.
The full scope of the potential PFAS contamination of the environment remains unknown.
Earlier this year, Attorney General Henry led a coalition of 17 Attorneys General in urging the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to add PFAS to the national list of Chemicals of Special Concern.