AG targets PFAS manufacturers

Richard MacKinnon, president of the Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts, said PFAS-related cancers among firefighters has "become an epidemic."

At a press conference Wednesday morning, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced a litigation campaign against 13 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) manufacturers. The announcement comes about a month after an interagency taskforce issued a report on PFAS that called for more funding for remediation and assistance for those who have become ill from PFAS exposure, among other things. 

Healey said cities, towns and homeowners have been unduly burdened with PFAS contamination in soil, waterways, and wells that originated from firefighting foam. Healey said her litigation would also target companies that allegedly “shielded assets” that should otherwise be available “to remedy the damages caused by this contamination.” Healey vowed to require these companies to “pay back every last dollar our state has spent on their products,” and to “clean up the contamination.” 

Representing over 12,000 firefighters in Massachusetts, Richard MacKinnon, president of the Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts, touched upon the health hazards of PFAS, and said he was “honored” to partner with Healey in what he called a “fight against occupational cancer in the fire service, which has become an epidemic.”


  1. There are approximately 13000 artificial turf fields in the US today. Lets replace them all today, OR investigate the real science as to a health hazard rather than make flaming assertions based upon feelings.

    • This is about firefighting foam, not artificial turf. But you’d have to read past the headline to know that.

  2. andy– now you’re talking– this is a “great replacement” theory I can get behind.
    But really– take a look at all the comments that have been presented about the poison football field.
    I have been asking for about a week for any of the proponents of the poison field to post some real science, and/or peer reviewed studies to back up any – yes, ANY of their assertions about any of it.
    You know what I have gotten back ? – NOTHING– not a single certifiable peer reviewed study to indicate in any way that a poison field is in any way beneficial to any citizen of Martha’s Vineyard. I am writing this on May 25 at 6 pm….
    I have posted at least 5 links to real scientific studies or real alternatives to this fiasco.
    Perhaps you could throw in a few more “flaming assertions”, based on your feelings about how they won’t ever pose any threat to anything or anybody.
    OR– you, andy– yes you– could take a little time out of your busy golf schedule and find some right wing opinion piece on some right wing conspiracy theory website making flaming assertions about the liberals trying to control the next generation by having them play football on a grass field.
    And let me ask you andy, who created grass ?
    Why is natural grass not good enough ?
    And let me ask you andy, who created a plastic field ?
    I think “god” created grass
    And “man” created synthetic turf.
    Since “god” is all good, and “man” is wicked and depraved, I think just based on religious beliefs, it’s a no brainer to go with god’s creation.

    • Wow, now god wants grass? I’m confused, god made grass, man made plastic…god made man, man made plastic, god made plastic, man made god……..sorry, just a little turned around by that.

      • Zeke–I can see why you are confused — You took my simple statement, added a few layers, twisted it around, made a pretzel, and now you don’t know whether to put salt or ketchup on it.
        Let me quote E.F.Schumacher for you– he was an economist;
        “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.”
        E. F. Schumacher

        So let me simplify my opinion for you..
        If god wanted grass, she would have created it herself.
        If god wanted plastic fields, she would have created them herself.

        One constant (god) 2 variables (grass and plastic ) — easy peasy.
        I like mustard on my pretzels, by the way…

    • Keller, synthetic turf is made from the same chemicals that exist in all our own household products, our roofs our siding our window frames our furniture inside and out and thousands of products we use every day. They are all tested by the EPA and other regulatory bodies and finally approved. You have never understood parts per hundred or parts per million or parts per billion. You simply look at a chemical and say poison. Many many things if we ingest them will kill us or make us sick yet when combined in chemical formulations are not the least bit toxic. If I drink Isopropyl Alcohol I die but if I use it to clean a wound I am fine. I should not drink hand sanitizer but its useful on my hands to kill germs. Do you get it?

      • Andy– I get it–But what i get is different from what you get. I hope you remember when I corrected your math about parts per trillion a while ago.
        And all your examples above are correct. I agree– bleach is very useful– but one shouldn’t shoot it up to cure COVID.
        But here is the part that you don’t get. God never intended for some chemical compounds to exist. Once they are created in a lab somewhere, they never degrade. In the case of PFAS, you are LIKELY correct in your assertion that they are in such small concentrations that we will not have any significant verifiable health consequences and even less likely to have a verifiable human death that could be directly attributed to this class of chemicals in our lifetime.
        But here’s the rub–I care about creatures such as amphibians– they are much more prone to have problems from of these chemicals.
        But more importantly, andy, I care about the quality of life of future generations.
        So just sticking to PFAS — today the concentrations are measured in the parts per trillion.. but all those products you speak of have PFAS that have not yet leached into the environment. Time will degrade the medium they are in, and they have no place to go– except into the environment.
        So 50 years from now, perhaps 100, 1,000 years from now, our descendants will be dealing with levels of not parts per trillion, but ppb, perhaps even parts per million.
        The difference between you and I , andy, is that I care about creatures who are not sapiens. And i also care about sapiens that will be born hundreds or thousands of years from now.

  3. Those who still think that a synthetic turf field is a good idea should pay attention to this campaign.

  4. Keller if you believe what you say then why are you not confronting those on this post who think it will hurt our NOW children. Degradation of chemicals that are parts per billion will also leach into parts per billion. In addition to worry about sapiens born thousands of years from now is fatuous. The polyurethane foam in your mattress is made from polyols and toluene di -isocyanate and chemical catalysts. The Polyester in your shirt is made from ethylene glycol which is anti freeze and di-methyl terephthalate. Need I go on. I have 40 years in the Chemicals business. God did intend to have chemical formulations just as HE gives us miracle drugs for all our medical problems.

    • Andy– I have a futon that is stuffed with cotton.
      I don’t own any shirts with polyester in them.
      God didn’t give us anything. We figured it all out ourselves.
      Why didn’t SHE give us chemical compounds that weren’t toxic ?
      Why did SHE give Hitler Zyclon B which he used to kill millions of your god’s chosen people ?
      Why did SHE give Putin nuclear weapons ?
      Why does SHE train abortion doctors to terminate pregnancies that SHE is responsible for ?
      Need I go on ?

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