It has been proven that 99% of PCBs, otherwise known as polychlorinated biphenyl compounds, take their origins from the Monsanto Company. This is a company that started manufacturing the chemical in the early 1930s all the way until just before production was banned in 1979. Men, women, and children of all ages lived and breathed in surrounding areas of the plants. They ate the fruits of labor from the land without realizing that they were right smack in the middle of one of the most dangerously polluted in North America.
The kicker? There has been speculation that Monsanto knew their products were chemically hazardous to the environment and to the people exposed to the substance, an internal memo exposed that they were well aware of what it was doing since the 1960s but kept on manufacturing anyway until the court system officially banned them from it.
There have been official, individual claims that have cited Monsanto PCBs as the direct cause of a debilitating disease in the form of a very particular kind of cancer known as non-Hodgkin lymphoma. This is a cancer that starts from the lymphocytes – a part of the body’s natural immune system – and can literally start from anywhere in the body: from the tonsils to even the bone marrow, which makes it a tricky medical case.
It has been proven to be difficult to prove that a corporation was the sole cause of the disease itself but the three individual plaintiffs from California were soon backed by dozens of people who volunteered to have themselves tested, in order to prove that the exposure to PCBs has directly impacted their health. In 2013, a Missouri jury was imposed upon to decide as to whether or not the company caused the cancer, after a court ruling was issued.
This has been an issue that has started since the 1930s – though there are some sources that claim that the company has existed since the early 1900s – and its effects are still quite widely pronounced and felt to this day. This is because the materials produced by Monsanto – electrical products to food packaging to paint – does not naturally decay and can cause havoc just by existing. There is no real, proper way to dispose of the substance due to the way that it was chemically created, thereby rendering the manufacturers as accountable for the still-present aftermath of the compounds.