Who should bear the huge cost of cleaning up pollution by fluorochemicals (see Nature 566, 26–29; 2019)? For example, the cost of ridding US military bases of these chemicals in fire-fighting foams is likely to top US$2 billion (see go.nature.com/2w5qjyt).
In our view, it is time to invoke the ‘polluter pays’ principle and make companies responsible for the true costs of their chemical products. As noted by the United Nations Environment Programme, “The vast majority of human health costs linked to chemicals production, consumption and disposal are not borne by chemicals producers, or shared down the value-chain” (see go.nature.com/2wonrvy).
Such costs should not be borne by taxpayers, the state or national treasury or by any other third party (see go.nature.com/2xzahnh). Rather, they should be met by producer industries to avoid market distortion.
Nature 567, 461 (2019)