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PFAS Water Contamination Attorney

PFAS chemicals are often called “forever chemicals.” They can be found in everything from non-stick cookware and water-resistant clothing to firefighting foam. They’re useful in these products because their chemical stability means that they’re resistant to water, heat, and oil. However, this means that the chemicals also don’t break down easily, which can have devastating effects on the environment and on people.

PFAS chemicals can contaminate water sources in a widespread way, especially in places like Florida where there are many connected bodies of water. This has negative effects on not just wildlife but also people who rely on that water. If you or a loved one has developed certain types of cancer or other qualifying health conditions and lived in an affected area, you may have a case. Don’t hesitate to contact Farah & Farah for a free consultation. We want to fight for the justice and compensation that you deserve.

What Is PFAS?

PFAS is a per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance that encompasses over 4,000 different chemicals. This substance was created by accident in a lab in the early 1900s. Since then, these chemicals have been used globally by manufacturers because of their excellence in repelling water and creating non-stick surfaces. While these chemicals have been acclaimed for their usefulness for manufacturers, scientists have found that PFAS chemicals cause many detrimental health effects.

PFAS Chemicals and Water Contamination

The qualities that make PFAS chemicals so valuable to manufacturers are the same ones that make them so harmful to humans, especially when considering water contamination. The following are the two main reasons that PFAS has been found to be contaminating almost 45% of Americans’ water sources:

How Does PFAS Get Into Water?

PFAS can enter the environment through a variety of channels. Once there, it’s difficult to remove and it can enter the groundwater, contaminating the drinking water for both animals and humans. The pathways through which PFAS can contaminate the enviroment include:

What Is a Forever Chemical?

These chemicals are persistent in their nature. PFAS chemicals are called “forever chemicals” because they do not break down naturally in the environment or in the human body. PFAS have been widely used since the 1940s in a variety of applications, including non-stick cookware, stain-resistant fabrics and carpets, water-repellent clothing, food packaging, and fire-fighting foams.

The persistence of these chemicals in the environment raises significant concerns due to their potential health impacts. Studies have linked PFAS exposure to a variety of health problems, such as immune system suppression, hormonal disruptions, and certain types of cancer. Their resistance to degradation makes them a challenging pollutant to manage, leading to widespread contamination of water sources and accumulation in wildlife and human tissues. As a result, PFAS are the subject of increasing regulatory scrutiny and environmental clean-up efforts around the world.

Prevalence of PFAS Water Contamination

Because PFAS chemicals are widely used in a variety of ways across the world, water contamination is a global issue. There are hundreds of locations worldwide, especially close to military bases, firefighting training locations, manufacturing facilities, and airports, where higher levels of PFAS have been detected.

The persistence of PFAS in the environment means that even areas without direct sources of PFAS can experience contamination due to the ability of these compounds to travel long distances in water and accumulate in the food chain. This widespread contamination poses significant challenges for remediation and raises urgent public health concerns, prompting increased regulation and research into effective cleanup methods.

Who Manufactures PFAS Chemicals?

Companies who manufacture PFAS are facing increased scrutiny for their role in water contamination and the harm that has resulted to the environment, animals, and to humans. The largest manufacturers of PFAS may no longer use or make those chemicals but due to the long-lasting effects may still be facing lawsuits even decades after they ceased production.


US-based company 3M was one of the first developers and manufacturers of PFAS, particularly PFOS (perfluorooctanesulfonic acid), which was used in numerous products including Scotchgard, fire-fighting foams, and non-stick surfaces. The company phased out the manufacture of PFOS in 2002 and has since faced numerous lawsuits related to its PFAS products.


DuPont is another major U.S.-based company historically involved in the development and manufacturing of PFAS. It is known for creating PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid), used in the manufacturing of Teflon. DuPont’s role in PFAS pollution has been notably highlighted in legal cases and studies showing health impacts on communities and workers exposed to PFOA.


A spin-off of DuPont created in 2015, Chemours has taken over some of DuPont’s chemical businesses, including the manufacture of PFAS chemicals. The company has also inherited significant legal and environmental responsibilities related to PFAS.


Based in France, Arkema produces a variety of chemicals, including PFAS. The company has faced scrutiny and regulatory attention in various countries due to environmental and health concerns associated with PFAS.


This Belgian chemical company has produced PFAS-related chemicals, particularly those used as replacements for PFOA and PFOS. Solvay has also been involved in legal and environmental challenges related to its PFAS production.


A Japanese corporation known globally for its electronics and chemical products, Daikin has been involved in the production of PFAS chemicals, particularly newer generation compounds intended to replace older, more notorious PFAS like PFOA and PFOS.

PFAS Environmental Regulations

In the United States, regulations occur both at the federal level and by state. In other countries, regulations may be approached differently.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The EPA has issued health advisories for PFAS, particularly PFOA and PFOS, setting recommended limits for these chemicals in drinking water. In 2021, the EPA announced the PFAS Strategic Roadmap, aiming to set enforceable limits under the Safe Drinking Water Act, increase monitoring, and enhance PFAS cleanup efforts.

State-Level PFAS Regulations

Many states have taken action in advance of or in addition to federal regulations, setting their own stricter limits on PFAS in drinking water, soil, and air. States like Michigan, New Jersey, and California have been leaders in setting aggressive standards and conducting extensive testing.

National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA)

The NDAA has included provisions for PFAS, including restrictions on the use of PFAS-containing firefighting foams in the military and requirements for the Department of Defense to phase out such foams.

How Is PFAS Contamination Cleaned?

PFAS is notoriously difficutl to clean up. The chemical is incredibly stable, which means that it won’t break down over time and it also spreads easily, which means that it can be found in areas farther away from primary contamination zones. Cleaning up PFAS contamination is also difficult, but there are some methods that have been used.

Activated Carbon Filtration

Activated carbon filtration uses granular activated carbon (GAC) or powdered activated carbon (PAC) to adsorb PFAS compounds from water. PFAS molecules are attracted and bound to the carbon material, effectively removing them from the water passing through. This method is frequently used at water processing plants and in water filters meant for at-home use in order to make sure that drinking water is clean and safe to drink.

Ion Exchange Resins

Ion exchange resins are materials that can exchange ions with ions in a solution that passes through them. They capture PFAS by exchanging other harmless ions (like chloride) for PFAS molecules. This method is also used in at-home filters and at water processing plants.

High-Pressure Membranes

Methods such as reverse osmosis (RO) or nanofiltration use semi-permeable membranes that allow water to pass through but block molecules of a certain size, including PFAS.

Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOPs)

AOPs involve the generation of highly reactive radicals which are effective in breaking down PFAS molecules into less harmful substances. This can include processes such as UV light treatment combined with hydrogen peroxide.

Containment and Excavation

In some cases, the best strategy is to contain the spread of PFAS contamination by using barriers or to physically remove contaminated soil or water for treatment off-site. This method is most commonly used in locations where PFAS contamination is the worst, such as near a manufacturing facility or a military base.

Research Into New Technologies

Even after a treatment or cleanup method is applied, PFAS may still need to be disposed of. Ongoing research is focusing on developing more efficient and cost-effective methods to remove or destroy PFAS.

Health Problems Linked to PFAS Water Contamination

PFAS chemicals are dangerous when they contaminate water sources because they gradually accumulate in the body until they begin to cause health problems. Someone could drink contaminated water and not know until it was much too late. These “forever chemicals” don’t break down and can affect the endocrine system in the body as well as estrogen levels. Over time, the chemicals can cause changes to the immune system that result in the following:

Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer can refer to any cancer that impacts the thyroid. Although it’s not a very common type of cancer, it’s becoming more common than before. Fortunately, it’s more treatable than many other forms of cancer.

Symptoms of thyroid cancer can include:

Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that primarily affects the lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum. It is characterized by the development of long-lasting inflammation and ulcers (sores) on the innermost layer of the colon’s lining. Unlike Crohn’s disease, another type of IBD that can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract, ulcerative colitis is limited to the colon and rectum.

The symptoms of ulcerative colitis can include:

Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer, also known as renal cancer, involves cells in the kidney becoming cancerous and growing out of control to form a tumor. Renal cell carcinoma, in which cancerous cells first form in the tubules of the kidneys, is one of the most common forms of kidney cancer. Kidney cancer is usually caught before it spreads to other organs, which makes it more easily treatable, but tumors may grow rather large before the cancer is detected.

Symptoms of kidney cancer can include:

Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer occurs when malignant cells begin to form in the testicles. The testicles are responsible for producing sperm and male hormones, primarily testosterone. Testicular cancer is relatively rare compared to other types of cancer but is the most common cancer in American males between the ages of 15 and 35.

The symptoms of testicular cancer can include:

Liver Cancer

Liver cancer takes the form of malignant tumors that start in the liver, which is where the body filters out harmful subtances and metabolizes nutrients during digestion. Hepatocellular carcinoma, or HCC, is the most common form of liver cancer and originates in the hepatocytes, which is the main type of liver cell. Several factors can influence the risks of contracting liver cancer, including heavy alcohol consumption, obesity, and diseases like hepatitis B and hepatits C.

The symptoms of liver cancer can include:

PFAS Water Contamination in the US

Every state in the United States has had to deal with some amount of PFAS contamination, simply due to the chemicals’ prevalence. In Florida, for example, PFAS contamination is continually assessed and monitored. Contamination comes most frequently from firefighting foam and industrial sites. The state is participating in EPA initiatives to test for PFAS levels in water and assess potential risks to public health.

In addition to Florida, other states with more documented PFAS contamination problems include:

PFAS Water Contamination in Florida

Some of the areas most likely to have PFAS contamination issues in Florida include: 

Other Major PFAS Water Contamination Events

PFAS water contamination can occur anywhere that the chemicals were used in the environment. This is especially a problem with fire-fighting foam because while it’s very effective in putting out fires, it’s also commonly used outdoors and can seep into the groundwater.

Historically, more well-known water contamination events from PFAS have been documented in the following areas:

PFAS Water Contamination Lawsuits

The first lawsuit involving PFAS chemicals was in 1999 when a West Virginia farmer sued Dupont. Since then there have been various lawsuits against large companies that have led to stricter restrictions on PFAS chemical usage; however, the damage was done and the ‘forever chemicals’ are still found in the bloodstreams of up to 97% of U.S. Citizens.

The new plan to address the usage of PFAS chemicals by the Environmental Protection Agency created even more publicity surrounding just how many manufacturers were using the chemicals to the detriment of public health. As more information has come out about certain water contamination events there has been an increase in, and higher success rates for, personal injury lawsuits in the past few years.

3M PFAS Water Contamination Lawsuit

In 2023, 3M agreed to pay at least $10 billion to settle a number of different lawsuits filed by 12,000 different public water systems across the United States. The company did not admit to any liability but the settlement will relieve 3M of years of costly court battles and has the benefit of the money being available sooner to the public water systems who need it to clean up the water. The settlement will be paid out over a period of several years. This allows the water systems with the worst contamination to receive their poprtion of the settlement first.

Even with this settlement, 3M isn’t completely clear of litigation. There are thousands of ongoing personal injury PFAS water contamination lawsuits against the company and there may be additional litigation from water systems in the future.

Chemours, Corteva, and DuPont PFAS Water Contamination Lawsuit

3M isn’t the only PFAS manufacturer to settle for a large sum of money. Three chemical manufacturing companies, Chemours, Corteva, and DuPont agreed in 2023 to pay $1 billion in order to settle claims from water systems that distribute water across the country. The total settlement will be split between the three companies.

Upcoming PFAS Water Contamination Lawsuits

Much of the litigation that has already been settled with PFAS chemical manufactures has been filed by water systems across the country. Despite settling for millions or even billions of dollars, the companies manufacturing are still facing many lawsuits, this time from individuals who have been harmed by the contamination of their drinking water.

Should I Consider a PFAS Water Contamination Lawsuit?

The Farah and Farah team

If you or a loved one has been exposed to the contaminated water in Florida or any other state and developed thyroid cancer, ulcerative colitis, kidney cancer, testicular cancer, or liver cancer as a result, you may have a case. At Farah & Farah, our attorneys are skilled in taking on corporations that may have put profit before people. Contact us for a free consultation today. You won’t have to pay a thing unless your case is successful. Let us fight for the justice and compensation that you deserve.


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