Company defends use of toxic chemicals to fight Illinois plant fire

A company whose northern Illinois chemical plant was heavily damaged in a fire last week is defending its use of firefighting foam containing toxic chemicals.

A team hired by Lubrizol Inc. used foam containing PFAS compounds June 15th at the Chemtool plant near Rockton.

The team switched to another foam without the chemicals on orders of the fire chief.

Lubrizol said Wednesday the foam with PFAS had been used for a short time to get the fire under control.

It says the foam was vacuumed up and stored for proper disposal. PFAS chemicals have been linked to numerous health problems including cancer and damage to organs including the liver, kidneys and thyroid gland.