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Calif. Prosecutors Suing Walgreens For Allegedly Improperly Dumping Hazardous Waste

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(credit: NOAH SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: NOAH SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — About 40 California prosecutors, including the Los Angeles City Attorney, are suing Walgreens for allegedly dumping hazardous wastes and materials into the environment.

The lawsuit, filed June 18 in Alameda County Superior Court, claims more than 600 Walgreens stores across the state improperly trashed hazardous wastes over six and a half years.

Prosecutors say the drug store chain ignored state environmental laws to cut costs and disposed of the waste in area landfills, where it contaminated soil and groundwater.

The wastes reportedly include pesticides, bleach, paint, aerosols, automotive products and solvents, pharmaceutical and biohazardous wastes and other toxic, ignitable and corrosive materials.

“The mishandling and unlawful disposal of toxic chemicals and pollutants pose a serious threat to the health and safety of our residents,” said City Attorney Carmen Trutanich. “This wasn’t an isolated incident. Walgreen’s actions were systematic and statewide, and the company must be held accountable.”

The prosecutors also claim Walgreens unlawfully got rid of confidential customer medical information.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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