Exposure to toxic chemicals is unavoidable. Families, workers, and children are regularly exposed to toxic chemicals and suffer injuries as a result.

Chemicals in the United States

Decades-long research by the Environmental Protection Agency and many scientists have found that PFAS’ (a long-lasting chemical) is present in nearly every person in the United States. Indeed, the EPA recommends no more than 70 parts per trillion of PFAS in water – and that rate is considered too high by many scientists.

Before PFAS, oil and gasoline refiners included the chemical lead in every gallon of gasoline. For several decades, automobiles burned millions of tons of lead before it was outlawed in gasoline. Before that, asbestos was heralded as a miracle chemical used as a stabilizing agent in paint, fire retardant in homes and ships, and many other applications before it was found to cause cancer. And the latest chemical manufacturer to be subject to a lawsuit is Monsanto and its polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Monsanto and PCBs

Monsanto was the exclusive manufacture of PCBs until the 1970s, when the chemicals were banned because they were linked to adverse health effects. A Washington jury awarded $163 million to plaintiffs exposed to PCBs after their school was renovated. The education board shut down the Sky Valley Education Center for repairs due to its dilapidated state. While renovating the school, workers found PCB in caulking and light ballasts. Inspectors later concluded that PCBs were released into the air due to the poor state of the school.

Indeed, between 2011 and 2015, more than 100 students, teachers, and staff got sick. Later, in 2018, a group of teachers, staff, and children filed a lawsuit against Monsanto, the school district, and the State of Washington. The lawsuit alleged that Monsanto manufactured, advertised, and sold PCBs to the school district. Moreover, the lawsuit alleged that Monsanto was aware of the dangers as early as the 1930s. Among those plaintiffs were teachers who alleged that they suffered brain damage due to PCB exposure.

This is only the latest lawsuit to embroil Monsanto. For the past few years, Monsanto has been battling a series of suits related to its Roundup pesticide, which resulted in a $10 billion settlement for thousands of plaintiffs. Monsanto advertised Roundup without warning consumers that it could cause cancer.