Water Contamination

UPDATE: – Douglas & London, P.C. Reaches Historic Multi-Billion Dollar Settlement with 3M Company Over PFAS Contamination.

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When people think of water contamination in America, most usually think of Flint, Michigan or Legionaries in the New York Metropolitan area. Unfortunately, there are many other locations dealing with water contamination in the United States and people who live there may not be aware of it.

Forever Chemicals

These chemical contaminants are known as “forever chemicals” because of the chemical bonds of the compound are too strong to break down in nature or by the human body.

With decades of industrial use and their strong resistance to breaking down naturally, it’s easy to see how these chemicals will find their way into our environment and into our bodies.


Most of the contaminants listed here can be categorized as C-8 chemicals. The name “C-8” comes from the chain of 8 carbon atoms in C-8 compounds as seen here.

Douglas & London has recently represented people who were harmed by millions of pounds of C-8 which caused severe injuries to people who lived around the Ohio River. The lawsuit found that DuPont was aware of the dangers of C8 chemicals decades ago but decided to still dump it into the Ohio River and exhaust it into the air from their plant in Parkersburg, West Virginia.


PFAS, Per- and Polyfluoralkyl substances, are a group of man-made chemicals that includes PFOA, PFOS, GenX and many other chemicals. Below is a good chart which shows the relationship of these chemicals.

PFAS family tree

PFAS consists of polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyls. Perfluoroalkyls consists of PFOS and PFOA, which are the class of chemicals which have contaminated water systems across the United States.

PFOS and PFOA have the same basic C-8 structure with an 8 carbon atom chain and a strong bond with fluorine atoms.


PFOA and PFOS are used in products such as non-stick cookware, water-repellent clothing, stain resistant fabrics and carpets, cosmetics, firefighting foams, and products that resist grease, water, and oil.

These products are manufactured and sold by household brand names such as Scotchgard, Silverstone, Teflon, and STAINMASTER.

Due to their strong chemical structure, PFOA and PFOS are considered non-biodegradable. The chemicals can resist breakdown in the environment and the human body, where they accumulate and remain for extended periods of time.

These strong physical properties and the physical harm they cause us has made PFOA and PFOS a candidate to be banned world-wide.


One use of PFOA and PFOS is Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF). AFFF is a firefighting suppressant which is mostly used in locations with higher rates or petroleum-based fires such as airports, military facilities, refineries, fuel tank farms and other industries which typically use and store tons of petroleum.

When AFFF is used, it can contaminate the soil, groundwater, surface water, and residual materials can enter drain systems where it can discharge into remote locations.

Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina

Veterans and their families who were stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina between 1953 and 1987 may have been exposed to water contaminated with toxic chemicals. Those chemicals include trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, benzene, methylene chloride, and vinyl chloride. Exposure to these chemicals may lead to a number of different types of cancer, as well as Parkinson’s disease and miscarriage in pregnant women.

If you or a loved one was stationed at, worked at, or resided at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 and were diagnosed with one of these illnesses due to exposure to contaminated water, you may be eligible to file a contaminated water lawsuit.

Side Effects

A non-biodegradable man-made substance entering the human body is going to do a lot of harm. Unfortunately, many individuals across the country are unknowingly exposed to these chemicals and are being diagnosed with:

  • Kidney Cancer
  • Testicular Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Thyroid Cancer

How Douglas & London Can Help

The attorneys of Douglas & London have experience representing clients who have been injured due to PFAS exposure. Gary Douglas, who is a founding partner of Douglas & London, served as co-lead counsel in a litigation representing victims of PFAS exposure and secured a $671 million settlement. This was after our attorneys were able to secure verdicts of $1.6 million, $5.1 million and $12.5 million.

If you or a loved one have been exposed to any of the chemicals listed above and are now diagnosed with testicular cancer or kidney cancer, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us on our website or give us a call at (212) 566-7500 for a free case review. There is no upfront cost and you don’t pay unless we secure a verdict or settlement on your behalf.