Erin Brockovich and Weitz & Luxenberg today announced that they are expanding their investigation into PFOA water contamination to include Petersburgh, NY. They announced their broader examination after new tests revealed that the town’s municipal water supply had the same chemical that is poisoning the Hoosick Falls, NY water system.

”First Hoosick Falls, now Petersburgh. Bottled water is not a solution to what is a growing crisis for local water supplies in this region,” said Ms. Brockovich, a consumer advocate who has been actively involved with the community in Hoosick Falls, NY and works with Weitz & Luxenberg. ”There needs to be a top to bottom review of all water supplies in the region as soon as possible, so that the state can fix this problem. People shouldn’t be afraid to turn the faucet on. I’ve been to Hoosick Falls and have heard from local residents who are concerned about poison in their water. The people in Petersburgh are facing a similar crisis with their drinking water; the firm will pursue legal action against those who are creating this public health emergency.”

”PFOA contamination is a dangerous health risk,” said Robin Greenwald, head of the Environmental and Consumer Protection Unit at Weitz & Luxenberg. ”Given that a very small amount of PFOA presents a substantial health risk, including several specific cancers, its presence can have a devastating impact on a water supply. It is critical, accordingly, that public health officials work quickly to implement a clean-up program so residents can use their tap again. That has to be the first priority. At the same time, we are looking into how widespread this problem is and how it was caused. As we are doing in Hoosick Falls, we will work to make sure that local residents who are affected by this pollution are able to seek justice and hold the responsible parties accountable.”

Ms. Brockovich and Weitz & Luxenberg have been investigating suspected causes and consequences of the PFOA water contamination problem affecting Hoosick Falls, NY since early January. PFOA is a synthetic substance used in the manufacturing of no-stick cookware, dental floss, electrical insulation and other familiar products. They will expand their efforts to include Petersburgh, NY and other areas.

The municipal water supply in Hoosick Falls, NY has been found to contain potentially dangerous levels of PFOA. Some residents of the town have reported falling ill after using this water for drinking and cooking. Chronic PFOA exposure has been linked to testicular cancer, kidney cancer, thyroid disease, high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis and pregnancy-induced hypertension. Studies suggest other possible health consequences include a possible connection to pancreatic cancer.

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