“We raised our families from those plants and we had no problems. Of course I know a lot of people in Nitro have had cancer, but I’m not sure [whether] they can blame that on the plants or not.”
For about two decades, ending in 1971, a former Monsanto chemical plant in West Virginia produced the herbicide 2,4,5-T which was used in “Agent Orange” — the defoliant the military sprayed over Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.
Now, Monsanto faces a class-action lawsuit, filed on behalf of people living where the herbicide was manufactured in Nitro, W.Va.
Nitro became a town during World War I , named after the type of gunpowder workers produced there. Later private companies like Monsanto manufactured other chemicals in Nitro, employing thousands of people. It’s always been a chemical town.
“If you ever drove over the I-64 bridge at Nitro, you really got an odor back in the ’60s and ’70s,” says Nitro Mayor Rusty Casto. But now the plants are gone.
A gate into the former Monsanto chemical plant near Nitro, W.Va. A class-action lawsuit filed against Monsanto (and subsequent company Solutia) claims the company improperly polluted the town with dioxin.
The class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of tens of thousands of people who lived, worked and went to school in Nitro after 1949. The suit claims the company spread toxic substances all over town, mainly dioxins, which have been linked to cancer. At issue in this case: whether Monsanto will have to pay millions of dollars to monitor the health of everyone included in the case…