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How Bad is PFAS Contamination in Montana?

PFAS Contamination May Have Lasting Effects on Your Health

While studies on the effects of PFAS are ongoing, one thing is clear - these contaminants have a lasting effect on your health. PFAS have been making the news for a couple of years now, as EPA testing has found several contaminated sites in Montana. The complete health risks of PFAS have not yet been ascertained, but they have been linked to cancer. 

If you have become ill or received a cancer diagnosis while living within one of the contaminated zones, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our firm today for more information, or keep reading to learn more about PFAS contamination in Montana.

What are PFAS?

Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are also called “forever chemicals” because they never break down in our environment. These substances are found in many products used by both companies and consumers, as well as the military and other organizations. 

Some of the uses for PFAS include:

  • Nonstick coatings, such as on pots and pans
  • Stain-resistant clothing and carpets
  • Fire fighting foam
  • Cleaning products
  • Water-resistant fabrics like raincoats, umbrellas and tents
  • Grease resistant paper
  • Nonstick and waterproof coatings for various industries and uses

PFAS are not hazardous in small amounts, but large concentrations have been known to cause cancer and other serious illnesses. The most common way for this contamination to occur is improper disposal of items and substances containing PFAS. PFAS are prevalent in Montana due to a lack of regulation and enforcement. 

How Widespread is PFAS Contamination in Montana?

In 2022, Yellowstone Radio reported that just two sites, one at the Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls and one near the Billings airport. However, today the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) website indicates that there are a total of five sites of concern, and the contamination has proven to be worse than first believed.

According to the DEQ, the five Montana sites with dangerous levels of PFAS contamination are:

  • Malmstrom AFB
  • Helena Army Aviation Support Facility
  • Fort Harrison
  • Montana Air National Guard
  • Former Glasgow Air Force Base

The drinking water in these sites has been deemed safe, but the groundwater and surface water have both been affected. According to the experts interviewed by Yellowstone Radio, the real danger is in eating fish that have been living in this water. 

What is Montana Doing About PFAS Contamination?

Although late to the scene, the state of Montana is trying to keep its citizens safe. However, many people have already become ill as an effect of PFAS contamination. 

The Montana DEQ website lists these illnesses linked to PFAS contamination in Montana:

  • Increased likelihood of kidney or testicular cancer
  • High cholesterol
  • Changes in the liver
  • Low birth weight
  • Increased risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy
  • Decreased vaccine response in children

Montana DEQ and the US EPA are working together to decrease the levels of PFAS contamination in Montana. The DEQ is still testing many sites across the state, and they are testing drinking water in contaminated areas on a regular basis. 

Have You Become Ill Due to PFAS Exposure in Montana?

If you lived in or near one of the sites with PFAS contamination in Montana, you may be entitled to compensation. This contamination occurs in high levels only when organizations are not disposing of waste properly. This could make them liable for your medical expenses, lost wages, and more.

If you or a loved one suffered illness after PFAS exposure, contact our firm today for a free review of your case. Our experienced attorneys will review your case to find the cause of your illness and hold organizations accountable when your illness is due to neglect. 

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