DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced a lawsuit against 15 companies over firefighting foam that contains harmful chemicals detected in the water supply. He says the companies knew the dangers but failed to warn anyone.
The toxic foam is being phased out across the state, but it has been used at airports, military installations and hard-to-put-out fires for years. The product is called aqueous film-forming foam and it contains polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS.
These “forever chemicals” stay around a long time, including in the human body, and are linked to a variety of illnesses, including cancer.
“They enter into your body and they stay there and they’re associated with a series of public health harms we are still unraveling,” Weiser said. “Part of what’s so concerning is the companies who were producing, distributing, marketing the materials of PFAS failed to disclose the risks to health and we weren’t able to minimize the damage. And now we have contaminated water supplies to the degree we’re not even sure yet.”
The lawsuit asks for a court order that requires manufacturers to pay to clean, restore and monitor the contamination.
Weiser said the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has been assessing PFAS contamination around the state, including its impacts on water quality.
“That information continues to come in and as we became fully aware of it, we had a choice to make: Take action to protect Colorado and seek to get damages to recover harms we have today,” Weiser said. “The answer is yes, we are. It’s important that we protect Colorado and hold those accountable those who distributed these forever chemicals.”
Some of the state’s sampling has detected PFAS in water across the state, including in military facilities in Colorado Springs, at the Suncor oil refinery and at airports and fire districts.
Who’s named in the PFAS lawsuit in Colorado?
The manufacturers named in the lawsuit are:
- E. I. DuPont de Nemours and Company
- The Chemours Company
- The Chemours Company FC, LLC
- DowDuPont, Inc.
- Corteva, Inc.
- DuPont De Nemours, Inc.
- Tyco Fire Products, LP
- Willfire HC, LL Chemguard, Inc.
- National Foam, Inc.
- Angus Fire Armour Corporation
- Angus International Safety Group, Ltd.
- Royal Chemical Company
- Buckeye Fire Equipment Company
- Fire Services Plus, Inc.
Only two of the 15 companies had responded to FOX31’s request for comment as of Monday evening.
DuPont De Nemours, Inc.
In 2019, Dupont de Nemours was established as a new multi-industrial specialty products company. Dupont de Nemours has never manufactured or sold AFFF. We believe this complaint is without merit, and is the latest example of Dupont being improperly named in litigation. We fully expect this suit will be transferred to the South Carolina MDL where we look forward to vigorously defending our record of safety, health and environmental stewardship.”Du Pont De Nemours Inc.
Corteva is aware of this complaint. The company does not make or sell any PFAS substances, including the fire-fighting foam described in this complaint.
Fire departments around the state are in the process of getting rid of this type of foam. Airports do not yet have an approved replacement. They do have strict procedures that are carefully monitored if it is needed.Corteva, Inc.