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Environmental Advocates Support Bills Expanding Ability to Sue Over PFAS Contamination

Horia Andrei VARLAN

Environmental advocates are pushing for policy changes to counter contamination from so-called forever chemicals. Sarah Lehr (leer) has more.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances are man-made chemicals found in everything from firefighting foam to some nonstick pans. The chemicals can build up over time and some studies have linked them to cancer and thyroid problems.

That’s why a group called the Great Lakes PFAS Action Network is calling for changes including legislation that would ban the chemicals from food packaging and cosmetics.

Sandy Wynn-Stelt lives in Belmont, Michigan, near where the Wolverine Worldwide tannery contaminated groundwater with PFAS. Her husband died of cancer and she said she got her own cancer diagnosis last year.

“We drank this water. We let kids play in the sprinklers we played in the rivers and the creeks and the lakes nearby.”

The Action Network wants to expand testing for PFAS in drinking water. And they say insurance companies should be required to cover blood testing for people impacted by the substances.