The unique properties of Per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals, commonly known as PFAS, has led to their use in thousands of household products since the 1940s. However, they are not only hazardous to health, causing cancer, birth defects and schizophrenia, they are extremely difficult to remove from the environment. Two giants of the chemical industry, 3M and DuPont, have been shown to have known about the dangers for decades, and to have actively sought to prevent this becoming public knowledge. Despite several settlements involving millions of dollars, neither company has admitted liability, nor held responsible for eradicating PFAS from the environment. Two landmark cases may change this. But even if they do, could this health disaster happen again?
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