A border resident has raised concerns about the potential long-term health impacts caused by toxic PFAS foam.
- $132.7 million was awarded to landholders on Monday after a lawsuit
- Shine Lawyers say more class actions could follow as details emerge on health outcomes
- A resident says she has been eating produce grown in contaminated soil for years
It comes after the Department of Defence agreed to pay more than $132 million to settle a class action over land contamination from the toxic firefighting foam at seven military sites across the country.
It is alleged residents were exposed to poisonous chemicals at the sites and the department negligently allowed the chemicals to escape into the environment.
The class action was led by Shine Lawyers who represented more than 30,000 claimants.
One of those is Julie Garner, who lives less than 5 kilometres from the Bandiana Military Area in Wodonga, on the New South Wales-Victoria border.
As an avid gardener who grows her own fruit and vegetables, Ms Garner consumed produce grown in soil suspected to be contaminated for several years.
“I’ve got apples, oranges, mandarins, grapefruits, you name it,” she said.
“A whole variety of fruit trees and of course I grow everyday vegetables.”
Over time she noticed issues in her garden which she believed were a result of PFAS contamination.
“Vegetables just didn’t taste right … I thought it was just my imagination,” she said.
“It was rather horrifying to realise that you have these issues.”
Ms Garner, who has lived at the property for more than 20 years, said she had concerns for the potential health impacts exposure to the chemicals could cause.
“My health has been very up