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Chula Vista joins 10 Other Cities, Public Entities to Sue Monsanto Company for PCB Contamination
The city of Chula Vista, in concert with the national law firm of Baron & Budd, announced that they have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of California against Monsanto Company for widespread polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination. Chula Vista is the sixth California city, represented by Baron & Budd, to file suit against Monsanto for PCB contamination. The California cities of Berkeley, Long Beach, Oakland, San Diego, San Jose and now Chula Vista are joined by Seattle, Spokane, Portland, the Port of Portland and the State of Washington in their action against Monsanto.
Monsanto was the exclusive manufacturer of PCBs between 1935 and 1979, when the chemicals were included in a number of industrial and commercial applications, such as cable coatings, caulk, electric transformers, lubricants, paint and sealants. When these chemicals escape from their original applications, they are washed away by rain and sent into stormwater systems where they contaminate a multitude of water bodies. They cannot be contained or restrained to their original applications and they do not biodegrade in nature.
PCBs have been determined to be toxic to humans, fish and wildlife. The chemical compounds of polychlorinated biphenyls have been associated with an extensive number of human health issues, including cancer and damage to immune, reproductive and endocrine systems. Women exposed to PCBs before or during pregnancy can give birth to children with significant neurological and motor control problems, as well as lowered IQs and inferior short-term memory issues.
PCBs have also been found to be dangerous to fish and wildlife and can impact the development of their endocrine systems. In 1979, PCBs were banned by the federal government.
“Monsanto needs to stop playing games and accept responsibility for cleaning up the mess it’s made,” said Baron & Budd Shareholder John Fiske. “Chula Vista is the latest city to recognize that PCB cleanup costs shouldn’t be passed on to its citizens, and I anticipate more cities and states will continue to follow suit.”