A class action lawsuit has been filed after toxic chemicals from Reese Air Force Base contaminated private well-water near Lubbock, Texas.
The problem is that Reese Air Force Base has used “firefighting foam,” or Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF), to extinguish liquid fuel fires during trainings and emergencies since 1970.
AFFF is very effective at putting out fires involving jet fuel and petroleum, but the cleanup is challenging because AFFF contains toxic chemicals called PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances).
PFAS are man-made chemicals that resist water, oil, and heat. They build up in the human body and persist in the environment for thousands of years.
Over the decades, large amounts of PFAS seeped into the groundwater surrounding Reese Air Force Base. To date, more than 100 former and current Air Force bases have been linked to PFAS contamination in nearby drinking water.
Reese Air Force Base has tested over 500 private drinking water wells for PFAS within 3 miles of the base.
At least 222 private wells and 3 public wells have tested positive for PFAS levels above the EPA’s Lifetime Health Advisory limit. In response, the Air Force installed whole-house water treatment systems for more than 200 homes in the area.
The lawsuit alleges that Lubbock residents who were drinking PFAS-contaminated water for decades are now at risk of health problems.
Some of the health problems linked to PFAS include testicular cancer, kidney cancer, ulcerative colitis, liver problems, changes to the immune system, high cholesterol, thyroid problems, other cancers, and long-term health problems in children.
Lubbock residents who developed health problems after drinking PFAS-contaminated well-water may be eligible to file a lawsuit and join the class action.
The class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina — MDL No. 2873 — In Re: Aqueous Film-Forming Foams (AFFF) Products Liability Litigation.