By Kit O'Connell for Mint Press News - AUSTIN, Texas — A toxic chemical that used to be prevalent in construction materials may still be hiding in the walls of thousands of American schools, and experts believe the EPA is doing too little to prevent it from poisoning a new generation of children. Polychlorinated biphenyls, a family of chemicals better known as PCBs, were commonly used in building materials until 1979, when they were finally banned due to the threat they pose to human health.
By Lorraine Chow for EcoWatch. Seattle joins the growing list of cities in the American West that has slapped Monsanto with a PCB lawsuit. PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, is a highly toxic chemical that the company manufactured decades ago. The complaint, filed on Monday with the U.S. District Court in Seattle, alleges that Monsanto knew that the chemicals were polluting the environment and causing harm to people and wildlife, said Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes. Monsanto has faced a spate of PCB contamination lawsuits over the decades and several this year alone. In 2015, the cities of Spokane, San Diego, San Jose and Oakland also sued the company over PCB-contaminated sites. It has been reported that Monsanto allegedly knew that PCBs were toxic well before the 1979 ban but continued production of the profitable compound anyway. Think Progress reported: "In a 1970 internal memo, agrochemical giant Monsanto alerted its development committee to a problem: Polychlorinated Biphenyls—known as PCBs—had been shown to be a highly toxic pollutant."
By Associate Press - The city of Spokane is suing the international agrochemical giant Monsanto, which it blames for pollution in the Spokane River.Monsanto PCB's The Spokesman-Review reports that the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Spokane, alleges that the company sold chemicals for decades that it knew were a danger to people and the environment. The suit doesn't specify the damages being sought. But Marlene Feist, the city's utilities spokeswoman, called the suit "long-term litigation," and noted that the city will spend $300 million in the coming years to keep polychlorinated biphenyls and other pollutants from entering the river.