Lawsuit alleges tainted water caused cancer

Alleging exposure to toxic chemicals in their drinking water caused cancer and other health problems, 24 area residents have filed a federal lawsuit against three companies and a local utility.

The lawsuit is the latest in a series of legal actions related to the industrial chemicals perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanic acid (PFOA) in the Tennessee River.

Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a health advisory indicating that even trace amounts of the two chemicals in drinking water — as little as 70 parts per trillion over a lifetime of exposure — presented potential health risks, including certain types of cancer, thyroid problems, and immune system effects.