Four Corners - Contamination
Contamination: The unfolding scandal of toxic water in Australian communities. It’s one of the biggest environmental scandals in Australian history - harmful chemicals leaching into the ground and waterways, contaminating water relied upon for drinking. These chemicals are the toxic legacy of fire-fighting foam used for decades on Defence Force bases and other sites around Australia.
Communities living in the shadow of three key defence bases have been trapped in a kind of no-man’s land for the past three years after it was revealed these chemicals, known as PFAS, had seeped out of the bases and contaminated the surrounding areas. Reporter Linton Besser investigates the gross failures by the Defence Department that led to this chemical contamination, uncovering the troubling history of the use of these chemicals and revealing just how long the public was kept in the dark.
The impact on those affected is profound. Some rely on water supplies trucked in by Defence contractors. Others are trapped financially, unable to sell, with their homes officially designated as a contamination zone. All worry about the implications of exposure to these chemicals. Four Corners has discovered that the scale of the problem is continuing to grow as more and more sites around the nation are being tested for contamination.
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