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Poisoned Legacy

Ten Years Later, Chemical Safety and Justice for DuPont’s Teflon Victims Remain Elusive

Poisoned Legacy

Friday, May 1, 2015

By David Andrews, Senior Scientist and Bill Walker, Consultant

Poisoned Legacy

Ten Years Later, Chemical Safety and Justice for DuPont’s Teflon Victims Remain Elusive

DuPont’s Dirty History

In 2005 the Environmental Protection Agency fined chemical giant DuPont a record $16.5 million over its decades-long cover-up of the health hazards of C8, also known as PFOA. One of a family of perfluorinated chemicals, or PFCs, PFOA was a key ingredient in making Teflon, the non-stick, waterproof, stain-resistant “miracle of modern chemistry” used in thousands of household products.

DuPont had long known that PFOA caused cancer, had poisoned drinking water in the mid-Ohio River Valley and polluted the blood of people and animals worldwide. But it never told its workers, local officials and residents, state regulators or the EPA. Eventually, research by federal officials, EWG and other public interest groups found that the blood of almost all Americans was contaminated with PFCs. And in 2006 the EPA confirmed that PFOA is a probable human carcinogen.

Ten years later, a new EWG investigation shows that Americans are still threatened by PFCs and that the victims of DuPont’s heinous actions are still awaiting justice. Click here to read EWG’s full report.

 

PFCs in your life

PFOA is no longer in used in the United States by the end of 2015, but DuPont and other companies are using related chemicals that may not be much safer. These next-generation PFCs are used in greaseproof food wrappers, waterproof clothing and other products. Few have been adequately studied for safety, and chemical companies hide critical information about most of them as trade secrets.

EWG wants to make sure that all consumers know about these new chemicals. We have created the resources you need to make smarter, healthier choices, including a brand new consumer guide. Download EWG’s consumer guide, complete with tips and tricks to keep PFCs out of your home:

 

Tell DuPont to keep its promises

It’s been 10 years since the EPA’s history-making judgment against DuPont and PFOA, but its victims are still seeking justice. DuPont has failed to clean up water supplies, is shirking its promise to monitor the health of the communities it poisoned and is gearing up to fight in court against paying damages to its victims. EWG – and the victims of DuPont – need you to take action today!

Click here to tell Dupont

 

Additional Resources

EWG's Chemical Industry Archives - See the documents that show how DuPont hid PFC pollution for decades.

The Madrid Statement - A scientific consensus statement regarding the persistence and potential for harm of PFCs.

Green Science Policy's Consumer Guide to Highly Fluorinated Chemicals.

Dupont Keep Your Promises Campaign

Greenpeace Detox Campaign