Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (“PFAS”)
A Rapidly Evolving Regulatory, Policy, and Litigation Issue
For decades, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”) have been used in the production and composition of many products. Prized for their desirable properties, such as water, oil, and heat resistance, these chemicals have more recently come under concern regarding potential human health impacts, particularly given their persistence and widespread dispersion in the environment. Scientific assessments have been conducted for some PFAS compounds, most notably perflourooctanoic acid (“PFOA”) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (“PFOS”), but estimates indicate that some 3,000 to 5,000 PFAS chemicals are in commerce, and few have received extensive study.
PFAS compounds can be found in a long list of products, including non-stick cookware, stain-resistant textiles, paper and packing materials, fire-fighting foam, carpeting, leather goods, metal plating, photographic and photolithographic products, semi-conductors, paint and coatings, cleaning solutions, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and oil industry and industrial equipment. Exposure concerns have been linked to groundwater, drinking water, and legacy sites.
Areas of increasing activity include: rapidly developing federal and state legislation and regulation, as well as litigation brought or under consideration by state and local governments, water districts, and private plaintiffs on both an individual and class action basis.
Lewis Brisbois attorneys are at the forefront of these fast moving PFAS issues, and are experienced in navigating complex, science policy legal matters. The multi-disciplinary Lewis Brisbois team is well-equipped to assist clients through every aspect of these high-stakes, emerging contaminant issues, with a strong focus on working efficiently and effectively to manage business risk.