Washington State sues Monsanto PCB contamination

Washington State sues Monsanto for PCB contamination

11:02 AM, 9th December 2016

OLYMPIA, US: The state of Washington declared a lawsuit against agrochemical giant Monsanto Company over pollution from polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), the first instance in which the biotech company is being sued by a US state.

Democratic Governor Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson proclaimed the lawsuit — which seeks potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in cleanup costs.

“It is time to hold the sole US manufacturer of PCBs liable for the significant harm they have caused to our state,” said Ferguson, adding that the chemicals have continuously endangered the health of protected salmon and orcas even after the state spent the tens of millions of dollars cleaning up, the Associated Press (AP) reported. “Monsanto produced PCBs for decades while hiding what they knew about the toxic chemicals’ harm to human health and the environment.”

PCBs were used in many industrial and commercial applications like paint, coolants, sealants and hydraulic fluids, and produced by Monsanto between 1935 and 1979, when Congress banned them. The damage, however, was already done.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said PCBs have been shown cause a variety of health problems, including malfunctioning of immune, nervous and reproductive systems. A recent study looked at 286 EPA reports in 20 states, including Washington, and found that almost 14 million schoolchildren are potentially unprotected from the chemicals, despite repeated attempts to clean up schools.

Ferguson stated that internal Monsanto documents showed the company knew about the danger associated with the chemicals as early as 1937 but maintained that they were safe. In a letter to New Jersey’s Department of Conservation in 1969, Monsanto wrote, “Based on available data, manufacturing and use experience, we do not believe PCBs to be seriously toxic.”

Other cities like Portland, Oregon; Oakland, Berkeley, San Jose, Long Beach and San Diego, California; as well as Spokane, Washington, have also sued Monsanto in the past. Those cases are ongoing, the Attorney General’s office said.

While Monsanto did not immediately respond to a request for comment by the AP on, its response to a similar lawsuit filed last year was that a previous incarnation of the company produced the PCBs, which “served an important fire protection and safety purpose.”

“PCBs sold at the time were a lawful and useful product that was then incorporated by third parties into other useful products,” Charla Lord, a company spokeswoman, reportedly wrote. “If improper disposal or other improper uses created the necessity for clean-up costs, then these other third parties would bear responsibility for these costs.”

© International Business Times News 


Related News:

Thousands of Nigerians sue Shell for devastating their communities



Your Comments (Up to 2000 characters)
Please respect our community and the integrity of its participants. WOC reserves the right to moderate and approve your comment.

Related News

AkzoNobel, Atul JV for world-scale MCA plant in India

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS: AkzoNobel NV and Atul Ltd have declared their intention to jointly invest in the production of monochloroacetic acid (MCA ...

Read more
PPG donates $15,000 to CUL for science, tech program

CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, US: The PPG Industries Foundation has donated $15,000 to the Chicago Urban League (CUL) to support the organization’s scienc ...

Read more
New discovery may lead to development of gasoline

ILLINOIS, US: In opposing a theory that’s been the standard for over eighty years, a group of University of Illinois researchers have made a dis ...

Read more
Total, Suez to recycle cooking oil into biofuel

PARIS, FRANCE: Total SA and Suez Environnement SA join forces to collect and recycle used cooking oil in France. As part of their 10-year partnership, ...

Read more
Global chemical industry stock outlook - Dec 2016

The chemical industry is in the process of gradual healing after being badly shaken by the Great Recession. Aside from a flurry of challenges, the ind ...

Read more
One killed, 2 injured in mishap at DAK Americas’ plant in US

CALHOUN COUNTY, US: One person died and two others were injured in an industrial accident at DAK Americas in Calhoun County (US), Coroner Donnie Porth ...

Read more
www.worldofchemicals.com uses cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. X