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San Diego files lawsuit over toxic PFAS chemicals in water

San Diego is suing more than 20 companies including 3M, DuPont and Raytheon over decades-long contamination.

SAN DIEGO — The City of San Diego is suing more than 20 companies over decades-long water contamination from toxic chemical called PFAS.  

The lawsuit claims manufacturers like 3M, DuPont, and Raytheon made firefighting foam that contained PFAS and alleges the companies concealed "knowledge about the grave environmental and human health dangers of these compounds."

PFAS are manmade chemicals that are known for repelling both water and oil. 

Research has linked PFAS to cancer, fertility issues and damage to the kidneys and liver.

In December, CBS 8 reported about the detection of PFAS around military bases in southern California.

"For years and years, we've known the military's heavy use of PFAS based firefighting foam has impacted service members, their families and surrounding communities," said Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA).

The 49-page lawsuit states the chemicals have been detected in wastewater from the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant and South Bay Water Reclamation Plant. 

The city notified El Cajon residents after PFAS levels exceeded water standards. The lawsuit says the city is working to reduce the contamination through its five billion dollar pure water sewage recycling project, which is still under construction.

The lawsuit seeks to force the companies to pay for the cleanup costs and expects those costs to be substantial. 

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