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Contamination scandal demands urgent federal and state cooperation, say Greens

The state and federal governments must offer assistance to residents and workers impacted by the growing number of sites in Victoria affected by elevated levels of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl chemicals (PFAS), say the Greens.

“In the wake of revelations that at least 16 Victorian sites may be affected by PFAS contamination, the Australian government must immediately ratify the United Nations’ Stockholm Convention agreement to ban PFOS chemicals,” said Senator Janet Rice, Australian Greens senator for Victoria.

“The Turnbull government must step up and take action to assist affected residents and communities as a matter of urgency. This includes immediately starting the compensation process and voluntary property buy-backs to affected residents, as well as funding free blood tests and counselling services.”

“It’s unacceptable that the Turnbull government is downplaying the serious health impact of PFAS chemicals, which, at high enough levels, can cause immune dysfunction, hormonal interference and certain types of cancer in humans.”

“According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, these chemicals are a human health hazard, yet Australia’s Department of Health maintains there is no consistent evidence the toxins cause ‘important’ health effects.”

Ellen Sandell, Victorian Greens environment spokesperson, urges the Victorian and Federal Governments to take immediate action.

"Community groups have been calling for these toxic chemicals to be banned for years, it’s totally unacceptable that governments are sitting on their hands. We must protect human health and the environment."

 

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