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What are PFCs?

Perfluorochemicals (PFCs) are man-made chemicals manufactured in Minnesota by 3M. As a result, PFCs now persist in the environment and in our bodies, and for the most part are not biodegradable. For almost 50 years, 3M’s PFCs have contaminated much of the water in Washington County. Many residents of Lake Elmo, Oakdale, Woodbury, and Cottage Grove must have their drinking water filtered to remove PFCs before the water is considered safe to drink. The Minnesota Attorney General recently obtained a $850 million settlement against 3M for damages caused by PFC contamination to Minnesota’s natural resources, including drinking water in Washington County.

What are some possible health effects of PFC exposure?

3M continues to deny adverse health effects to humans. However, the Minnesota Department of Health recently issued a consumption ban for all fish from Lake Elmo due to the PFC levels contained in the lake. The Minnesota Department of Health concluded there is no safe level of consumption of the fish from that lake.

As a result of the emerging science linking exposure to PFCs to certain health conditions, we are investigating harm to people caused by drinking water contaminated with PFCs. For those people who have resided in the communities of Lake Elmo, Oakdale, Woodbury, and Cottage Grove who have diseases such as kidney and testicular cancers, birth defects, and thyroid problems, their health issues may be caused by PFCs.

Who has been exposed to PFCs?

While most people on earth have been contaminated by PFCs, research shows residents in Washington County can have up to four (4) times or more PFCs in their bodies than people who do not live in Washington County. Exposures to PFCs come in many forms, including drinking contaminated water and eating fish from contaminated water sources. Even pre-natal children can be exposed as PFCs have been shown to cross the placenta to an unborn fetus and can be found in breast milk of exposed mothers.

The Minnesota Attorney General’s settlement addresses ONLY damages to the environment, not people. But what about the individuals in Washington County who were exposed to years of drinking PFC contaminated water?

What options are available to someone who may have been exposed to PFCs?

To address damages not covered under the Attorney General’s settlement, the law firms of Pearson, Randall, & Schumacher, P.A. and Sieben Polk, P.A. are working together to investigate the connection between people who have diseases linked to PFC exposure and drinking PFC contaminated water in Washington County.

If you, or someone you know, is or has been a resident of Washington County and have suffered from these serious health conditions: kidney cancer, testicular cancer, birth defects, or thyroid problems, please contact Gale D. Pearson, Esq. from Pearson, Randall, & Schumacher, P.A. at 612-767-7516 or Ryan T. Gott, Esq.from Sieben Polk, P.A at 651-437-3148.


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