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DuPont to pay $8.3 Million

For Immediate Release: 
Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The DuPont company has agreed to pay $8.3 million to install water filters in nearly 5,000 southern New Jersey homes whose tap water is polluted with the toxic industrial chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), also known as C8.

E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company settled a class action lawsuit brought by residents of Penns Grove, N.J., who charged that their drinking water had been polluted by perfluorochemicals, including C8, emitted from the company’s Chambers Works facility.

The chemical C8 is a member of a family of synthetic industrial substances called perfluorochemicals, which do not break down in the environment and which pollute drinking water and source water in at least 11 states, according to limited investigations by state water agencies, academic scientists, businesses and journalists.

A byproduct of the manufacture of fluorotelomers, used for stain-repellent textile coatings, non-stick cookware and water and grease-resistant coatings, C8 has been widely found in people and the environment, due to unregulated industrial discharges and leaching from consumer goods and landfills.

Environmental Working Group has campaigned for eight years to restrict perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a likely human carcinogen, endocrine-disrupting chemical and reproductive toxin that for 50 years.

"For years, thousands of people who live in southern New Jersey have been drinking water polluted with the toxic industrial chemical C8,” EWG senior scientist Olga Naidenko, Ph.D. said. “DuPont has disregarded public health by waiting for a federal court order before providing the community with filtered water. “

On February 1, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a nationwide plan to require water utilities to test drinking water for 28 contaminants currently unregulated by federal law, including C8 and five other perfluorinated chemicals.

“EPA’s decision to test for C8 in water supplies nationwide is a step in the right direction,” Naidenko said. “We cannot afford to delay protecting Americans from this dangerous chemical any longer."

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