Apr 17, 2020

New class action launched over Pfas toxic firefighting chemicals used by defense

Lawyers have launched a new class action on behalf of tens of thousands of residents over the defense department's use of toxic firefighting chemicals.

The case will allege defence's use of per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (Pfas) had "cataclysmic consequences" for residents in Wodonga, Darwin, Townsville, Wagga Wagga, Edinburgh and Bullsbrook.

The highly persistent and probable carcinogens were used for decades in firefighting foam on defence bases, leaching into nearby land and water supplies, contaminating food and accumulating in humans.

Residents near two other military bases – in Oakey, Queensland and Katherine, Northern Territory – reached a $212.5m settlement with the federal government over Pfas contamination in February.