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North Carolina Residents Urge UN to Investigate Toxic PFAS Pollution

The Guardian

April 28, 2023

Chemical manufacturer Chemours accused of violating human rights by releasing ‘forever chemicals’ into Cape Fear River basin

A citizens group in North Carolina has formally requested the United Nations to investigate multiple alleged human rights violations stemming from chemical manufacturer Chemours’ toxic PFAS pollution in the region.

About a half million residents live in the Cape Fear River basin between Fayetteville and Wilmington, where Chemours has produced PFAS and polluted the region for over 40 years. The residents face “an environmental human rights crisis … involving pervasive human exposure to toxic chemicals”, according to a communication filed with the UN by Clean Cape Fear and the University of California at Berkeley Environmental Law Clinic.

PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a class of about 14,000 chemicals often used to make products resistant to water, stains and heat. They are called “forever chemicals” because they are virtually indestructible, and they are linked to cancer, liver problems, thyroid issues, birth defects, kidney disease, decreased immunity and other serious health problems.

A UN human rights commission investigation there would be the first to look into an environmental crisis in the US. Residents say they have been denied the right to clean water, bodily integrity, information, an effective remedy, and a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.’

Read the complete article in The Guardian.