Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel sued dozens of companies, some of which have facilities in Indiana, for their role in helping spread aqueous film forming foam, a firefighting foam made with PFAS chemicals, in the state of Michigan.
PFAS chemicals have been linked to a series of adverse health effects, including kidney and testicular cancer, increased cholesterol levels, increased high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia in pregnant women, decreased birth weight and decreased vaccine response in children.
The state claims that the companies that produce the foams known as “Mil-Spec AFFF” chose to include PFAS chemicals in the foam, although they were not required to by government specifications. The state claims the company chose to use toxic PFAS chemicals and “failed to warn and share information with all of its customers, including the [Department of Defense], on the impact of their products on the environment.”
Similarly, the state also claims that manufacturers of commercially available AFFF had “full knowledge of the health and environmental risks of Commercial AFFF, which they intentionally hid from the public and the State.”
The state wants the companies to pay for damages resulting from the spread of the PFAS chemicals through the foam.
Currently, the state has identified 138 sites that are being investigated for PFAS chemical contamination.
Several current and former military facilities in Indiana have also tested positive for PFAS contamination.
The Indiana legislature passed a bipartisan bill earlier this year that would prohibit the use of PFAS firefighting foam during training unless the training facility can prevent the release of the chemical into the environment.
The bill was signed into law in March.