This complaint also brings together six fishermen’s federations and 35 individuals. It targets acts of “endangering the lives of others”, “ecocide”, violation of European Union regulations on chemical substances and “water pollution”.
A first complaint filed by the commune of Pierre-Bénite recently led to the opening by the Lyon public prosecutor’s office of a judicial investigation for “endangering the lives of others”.
Arkema and Daikin pinned
The 75 new complainants say they were alerted by the press to the “risks generated by the activities of Arkema and Daikin”, two industrial groups classified Seveso high threshold, located in the chemical valley, south of Lyon.
The broadcast of a documentary on France 2in the spring of 2022, pushed the authorities to launch analyzes on several industrial sites in the region, on the state of rivers and groundwater.
The 75 plaintiffs denounce the “risks and harmful effects on health” of PFAS, “alarming information on the state of the soil and water” and “failures” on the part of Arkema and Daikin.
What are PFAS?
PFAS, poly- and perfluoroalkyl compounds, with non-stick and waterproof properties, are very toxic pollutants that can be found in industrial discharges, landfills or commonly used products – packaging, textiles, utensils kitchenware, firefighting foam, etc.
If exposed over a long period, they can have effects on fertility and fetal development, increase the risk of obesity or promote certain cancers (prostate, kidney and testicles), according to scientific studies.
No longer consume fruits and vegetables from these soils
According to the regional prefecture, the discharges emitted by Daikin in the Rhône “remain low and controlled and those produced by Arkema respect the reduction levels imposed” by a prefectural decree in September 2022.
While waiting to stop using PFAS – by 2024, according to a prefectural decision – Arkema has installed a filtration station to drastically reduce its emissions.
While local residents are demanding health analyses, Arkema has advised users of its allotment gardens to no longer consume fruits and vegetables from these soils.