Many residents in Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh, New York, drank the water there and gave it to their children without knowing that it contained traces of the man-made chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).
What is PFOA?
PFOA stands for Perfluorooctanoic Acid, a synthetic chemical compound belonging to the group of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are a large class of human-made chemicals widely used in various industrial and commercial applications due to their unique properties, including heat resistance and water repellency.
PFOA has been used to produce numerous consumer and industrial products, such as non-stick cookware (e.g., Teflon), water-resistant textiles, firefighting foams, and certain types of food packaging. However, due to its persistence in the environment and potential health concerns, its use has become increasingly regulated and phased out in some regions.
Health concerns related to PFOA arise from its potential for bioaccumulation, meaning it can build up in the bodies of animals and humans over time. Studies have indicated that PFOA exposure may be linked to various health issues, including:
- Increased cholesterol levels.
- Thyroid disorders.
- Reduced fertility in women.
- Certain types of cancer (e.g., kidney and testicular cancer).
New York Residents Harmed by Water Pollutants
A resident, Michelle Baker, who had been giving her baby the water all the infant’s life because she had been drinking water from the tap when she was pregnant, said, “Never in a million years did we think our water was contaminated, or our water would cause cancer or thyroid disease or a host of other diseases.”
The chemical originated in the fighting foam and nonstick pans of Hoosick Falls’ French multinational manufacturing company Saint-Gobain S.A. and Petersburgh’s Taconic Plastics; the pollutants eventually entered the residents’ water. These two sites were classified as Superfund sites. That means the state has designated the cleanup of the area to finish as quickly as possible.
In line with this, New York Governor Andrew Mark Cuomo, on Thursday, July 21 signed a bill that makes it possible for residents to file a claim against the pollutant company up to three years after the site was designated a Superfund destination. Previously, a suit can be filed only within three years from an injury caused by exposure to a contaminant.
Call Our Personal Injury Lawyers
To alleviate the financial pressure on you and your family brought about by expensive medical bills for physical injuries incurred during a personal injury accident in New York caused by the negligent actions of other people, contact the attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP today by calling (212) 779-0057.