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Articles Tagged with vinyl chloride

Camp-LejeuneA United States Marine Corps base in Onslow County, North Carolina was the site of “the worst example of water contamination this country has ever seen.” Camp Lejeune is the second largest Marine base in the United States. Marines and their families lived on base for short periods of time learning necessary skills, since it was an amphibious training base. Then, they would leave to be stationed elsewhere. Little did they know that they were being exposed to toxic water in their temporary homes.

From the 1950s through the 1980s, people living or working at Camp Lejeune were exposed to contaminated drinking water from multiple sites on base. For instance, prior to 1986, water coming from two treatment plants—Tarawa Terrace and Hadnot Point—contained volatile organic compounds. The contamination primarily included perchloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE), dichloroethylene (DCE), vinyl chloride, and benzene. Throughout the base, the drinking water contained toxic chemicals at levels 240 to 3,400 times higher than what safety standards permit.

And, the result of the exposure to those contaminants was tragic. Drinking that contaminated water likely increased victims’ risk of multiple types of cancer, including leukemia, breast cancer, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It also put victims at risk for other diseases and negative health effects, including Parkinson’s disease and miscarriages.

Ford Plant Livonia.jpgLIVONIA, Mich. August 8, 2017 – More than 130 homeowners in the Alden Village neighborhood of Livonia, Michigan will be filing a lawsuit against Ford Motor Company, alleging that dangerous chemicals from Ford’s nearby Transmission Plant have migrated into the neighborhood, contaminating groundwater and soil, and threatening the intrusion of chemical vapors into their homes. Attorneys for the homeowners will file the suit in Wayne County Circuit Court tomorrow, August 9.

THE PRESS CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD

TOMORROW, WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 9, AT 1:00 PM EST,

Recently, Ford Motor Company sent a letter to the owners of homes and businesses to the immediate east of Ford’s Transmission Plant in Livonia, Michigan, to deliver the unfortunate news that a chemical known as “vinyl chloride” is contaminating the shallow groundwater in their neighborhood. The revelation of this serious groundwater contamination demands more and urgent testing, specifically to determine how and where the vinyl chloride may be moving, and whether it is threatening to intrude–in “vapor” form– into the homes and businesses, where people are breathing the air. However, even though it has apparently not done this critical testing, Ford nevertheless wrote in its letter that “there is no health risk to residents” from the contamination, and that the “extent of the vinyl chloride has successfully been defined”.

While Ford may have good intentions, and want to reassure its neighbors, the reassurance is, at best, premature. It may even be wrong. Ford has not done the testing and investigation necessary to prove that its comforting statements are true. These families and business owners do not need unsupported assurances. They have the right to full disclosure from Ford–and from the State of Michigan, if it has important information–of all of the facts so that they can make informed decisions about protecting themselves against any threat to their property and health from the vinyl chloride. They should not have to rely on the good faith of a big company and their government.

As a lawyer who represents families contending with these very same problems and dangerous chemicals, I wanted to offer the following thoughts gained from my experience:

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