Shine Lawyers considering class action against PFAS contamination from Bandiana army base
“Wodonga is one of those 18 sites, and that’s concerning because it means they think they will find levels off the base.
When using these new guidelines to assess the samples collected in 2016, two sites exceed 0.7 ug/L.
The sample collected from Jack in the Box Creek, which is not a water supply source, was seven times higher than the recommended PFOS level for drinking water and three-and-a-half times higher for PFHxS.
“Even outside the investigation area in Townsville, there are unacceptable levels coming out of bores and Defence has had to redraw their investigation footprint,” he said.
“People in these towns want to get out from the contamination because it’s going to be there for generations, and there are elderly people who can’t sell their devalued properties so they can go into a home.” State and federal governments maintain there is no conclusive evidence that PFAS are harmful to human health and the science is still developing around the chemicals.
“As they have heat, water and stain-repelling properties, PFAS have been widely used in a range of industrial and consumer products both in Australia and internationally, including in fire retardants, water-proofing, food preparation, food packaging, furnishings, clothing and recreational equipment,” he said.
A Defence spokeswoman said blood testing programs were running in Oakey, Williamtown and Katherine ‘because the extent of contamination and exposure pathways at these sites is well understood’.
The spokeswoman said defence had ‘not identified any residents within the investigation area that require alternative water supplies’.
“Defence is currently conducting the second stage of the detailed environmental investigation process, a detailed site investigation, at Bandiana,” she said.
“They are really concerned about being in an investigation area and the messages they are getting from Defence seem to contradict what they find online.” Mr Aylward is in contact with six Wodonga residents and said potential legal action would be guided by further PFAS results.