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Contamination scandal demands urgent federal and state cooperation

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 18 Jun 2018

As the number of PFAS contaminated sites continues to grow, the Greens are calling on federal, state and territory governments to urgently offer assistance to impacted residents and workers and clean up the toxic chemicals.

Australian Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon said, “It’s past time that Australia ratify the United Nation’s Stockholm Convention agreement to ban PFOS chemicals.

“The Turnbull government has been caught out trying to downplay the serious health impact of these chemicals. 

“While the US Environmental Protection Agency notes that these chemicals are a human health hazard that – at high enough levels – can cause immune dysfunction, hormonal interference and certain types of cancer in humans, in Australia the Department of Health maintains there is no consistent evidence the toxins cause ‘important’ health effects.

“The federal government should immediately begin the process of offering compensation and voluntary property buy-backs to affected residents, and fund free blood tests and counselling services,” said Senator Rhiannon.

Greens NSW MP and spokesperson for the environment, Dr Mehreen Faruqi said,

“The fact that residents are unaware of PFAS related chemicals in their groundwater and food is not only unacceptable but extremely dangerous. The Government’s neglect on this issue could cause serious harm to people exposed to toxic chemicals.

“The Government needs to step up and do its duty to protect people from these dangerous chemicals polluting our environment, and for a start they should ban the chemicals immediately and conduct a vigorous public information campaign. The risks are too great for this Government to sit on critical information and do nothing.”

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