There are over 600 military sites that are superfund sites, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. A Superfund site is an area that has been contaminated by hazardous materials, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which then plans for the site’s cleanup process.
Once a military site or any other contaminated location appears to have hazardous materials on-site, the EPA adds it to the National Priority List (NPL) and prepares for the cleanup of these locations.
When sites are found responsible for the contamination, the EPA can enforce them to clean up the location on their own. In some cases, if the site cannot clean up the contamination, they must reimburse the government as the EPA takes command in the cleanup efforts.
The NPL also includes an active superfund site map that lists all the current, proposed, and deleted contamination sites from the list. According to the EPA, there are currently a total of 1,335 active NPL sites in the United States.
What Is PFAS?
There are several military sites that are superfund sites, and such hazardous materials in which the EPA considers for superfund sites include per-and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly every American may have traces of PFAS chemicals in their blood system.
PFAS chemicals include both perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). These chemicals are man-made and have been in use throughout the globe since the 1940s. The CDC states that manufacturers used PFAS chemicals to create fluoropolymer coatings resistant to heat, oils, water, grease, and stains.
Many major companies have used or manufactured PFAS over the years, according to Reuters. Some of these companies have released information to the public concerning their usage of PFAS chemicals in their products, such as Teflon and non-stick cookware.
Human Exposure to PFAS
To determine how many military sites are superfund sites, organizations conduct tests on the water supply or products they use. According to the EPA, there are a variety of ways in which humans can be exposed to PFAS chemicals. For instance, when military bases use equipment that is made with PFAS, these chemicals can seep into the environment, as it has in over 600 military superfund sites across the country.
The EPA lists four main ways in which humans can be exposed to PFAS, which include:
- Drinking water
- Consumer products
- At work
There are a variety of consumer products that can lead to human exposure of PFAS, such as stain- and water-repellents, non-stick cookware, carpets, textiles, paper and packaging material, and more.
Health Effects Linked to PFAS
The EPA has also warned U.S. citizens about the health effects linked to PFAS. Here are the following health effects the EPA has released on human exposure to consistent levels of PFAS:
- Increased cholesterol levels
- Effects on infant birth weights
- Immune system complications
- Certain cancers
- Thyroid hormone disruptions
Because there are so many known superfund sites, let alone military sites, scattered across the country, it puts the entire country in danger of exposure and to the health effects of PFAS.
Toxic Contamination Class Action Lawsuits with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm
Over the years, people have been holding major companies accountable for their PFAS exposure to the environment. In 2018, the State of Minnesota won its lawsuit against 3M for “natural resource damages” following the company’s emission of PFAS in the eastern metro area of the Twin Cities. The verdict required 3M to pay out $850 million, according to the Minnesota Attorney General.
If you have been exposed to PFAS chemicals at a military base or from other superfund sites across the country, the toxic contamination lawyers of Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help. After completing a free case review, we can determine if you can join or file a class-action lawsuit against the entity that caused PFAS exposure.
To learn more, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 788-4155 for your free case evaluation.