Tennessee Riverkeeper, an environmental conservation group, intends to sue chemical manufacturing company 3M for its disposal of toxic chemicals in and around the city of Decatur, Ala., as well as directly into the Tennessee River and its tributaries.
According to the group, these chemicals, perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctane sulfonate, can make their way into human diets through the consumption of fish that are exposed to high concentrations of the pollutants in the water. Additionally, the chemicals can potentially cause cancers, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and ulcerative colitis. The group also claims that conventional wastewater treatment procedures do not sufficiently filter out the chemicals.
Tennessee Riverkeeper has requested that 3M increase their efforts to clean up groundwater contamination caused by chemical disposal and leachate from landfills.
However, 3M claims that the chemicals are not harmful, provided they do not exceed accepted levels. — W. Spencer King