Breaking News
More () »

Washington Attorney General files lawsuit against manufacturers of 'forever chemicals'

The state banned nine toxic chemicals in a bill signed by Gov. Inslee earlier this year.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced a lawsuit Wednesday against 20 manufacturers of "forever chemicals."

Per- and polyfluoralkyl substances, also known as "PFAS," have been linked to increased cancer risk, developmental delays in children, damage to organs such as the liver and thyroid, increased cholesterol levels and reduced immune functions, especially among young children, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The lawsuit was filed in King County Superior Court and relates to PFAS used in aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), a type of chemical foam used for firefighting and emergency response, particularly around airports and military sites.

A study by University of Notre Dame researchers released in 2021 found that more than half the cosmetics sold in the United States and Canada were awash with a toxic industrial compound associated with serious health conditions.

Researchers tested more than 230 commonly used cosmetics and found that 56% of foundations and eye products, 48% of lip products and 47% of mascaras contained fluorine — an indicator of PFAS.

The lawsuit alleged the companies knew about the "serious risks these chemicals posed to humans and the environment" for decades and "likely made many millions in profit while actively deceiving the public."

The full list of defendants includes 3M Company, AGC Chemicals Americas Inc., Amerex Corporation, Archroma U.S. Inc., Arkema Inc., BASF Corporation, Buckeye Fire Equipment Company, Carrier Fire & Security Americas Corporation, Carrier Global Corporation, ChemDesign Products Inc., Chemguard Inc., Clariant Corporation, Dynax Corporation, EIDP Inc. f/k/a E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Kidde PLC Inc., National Foam Inc., The Chemours Company, Tyco Fire Products LP, Corteva Inc., and DuPont de Nemours Inc.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill earlier this month that bans nine toxic chemicals from being manufactured or sold in the state.

These eight chemicals and/or chemical classes will be banned on Jan. 1, 2025 when intentionally added to the product.

  • ortho-phthalates
  • perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances
  • formaldehyde and chemicals determined by Ecology to release formaldehyde 
  • methylene glycol
  • mercury and mercury compounds
  • triclosan
  • m-phenylenediamine and its salts
  • o-phenylenediamine and its salts

Lead and lead compounds are also restricted when intentionally added or meet a certain threshold. 

Before You Leave, Check This Out