Attorneys with Colorado Springs-based McDivitt Law and New York firm Napoli Shkolnik are calling on the Colorado Department of Health to help pay for blood testing for people living in areas where perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs, have been detected above safe levels.
The firms are working together on a class action suit against manufacturers of firefighting foams believed to have leeched PFCs into drinking water in Security, Widefield, and Fountain--one of several class actions filed in recent weeks. Napoli Shkolnik has similar PFC cases pending in several other states, but attorney Paul Napoli described the scope of contamination in El Paso County as larger than in any other community in the country.
"What we're hoping to see here in Colorado, where the enormity of this problem is greater than anywhere else, is that the government steps up and tests the community and the people in the community now, so that people in the community can understand how much this is really affecting them," he said.
Blood tests examining PFC levels in the body can cost as much as $700. Other states such New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire, where communities are also dealing with PFC contamination, have created programs to test residents in affected areas free of charge.
The Colorado Health Department said it wouldn't comment on pending litigation. But, on its website, the agency says it doesn't recommend blood testing for PFCs, adding that results of those tests don't show whether a person has health problems as a result of exposure.
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