Dupont Chemical C8 contamination
News from Jan - Jun 2005
Jun 30: Citizens
uneasy over EPA report that says C8 ‘likely’ carcinogenic to humans
Jun 29: EPA:
DuPont's C-8 a 'likely' carcinogen
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Compound
in Teflon A 'Likely Carcinogen', Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post.
Jun 28: Advisory
panel ups cancer warning for much-used chemical
| Jun 26: No injuries in DuPont leak
WASHINGTON, WV -- "A chemical leak that had a number of area fire departments on standby Saturday turned out to be a minor incident, a DuPont spokeswoman said. A heat transfer fluid leaked inside a building at DuPont's Washington Works plant Saturday morning, with an alarm going off around 11:45 a.m., said Robin Ollis, external affairs specialist for the plant...A normal weekend crew of about 200 people was working at the plant when the leak occurred, Ollis said. In accordance with the plant's procedures, entrances and exits to the plant were closed and employees were instructed to shelter in place until the incident was taken care of, she said," Evan Bevins, Parkersburg News and Sentinel.
| Jun 25:
C8 testing program on schedule to begin in July
PARKERSBURG, WV -- "Officials with the health survey and monitoring project to determine C8 blood levels of residents in six water districts said the project is on schedule to begin around mid-to-late July...The effort includes gathering medical histories and blood samples from residents of six water districts considered 'class' members for purposes of the civil action. The six districts are Lubeck Public Service District, Mason County in West Virginia, and Little Hocking, Belpre, Tuppers Plains and Pomeroy in Ohio...It is estimated there are 70,000 people eligible for the testing as part of a settlement in the civil action," Pamela Brust, Parkersburg News and Sentinel.
| Jun 17: Little Hocking customers asked to conserve water|
MARIETTA -- "Little Hocking Water Association customers are asked to conserve water until one of three wells used in the area can be repaired. Thunderstorms Tuesday evening damaged the electric motor in one of the associations wells, said Robert Griffin, general manager of the Little Hocking Water Association, which serves 12,000 people in western Washington County and Athens County. If the water demand is not reduced, the association will have to begin using Well No. 5, which has been found to have a higher level of the chemical C-8 than the other wells. There are no known harmful health effects for people exposed to C8 but testing has only begun in recent years and long-term effects are not yet known. C8 is used by the DuPont Washington Works plant to produce Teflon," Kate York, Marietta Times.
The Sticking Point: Nonstick pans are a boon to cooks, but are there dangers lurking beneath the surface?|
SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- "'We recommend that people phase out the use of Teflon cookware in their home,' says Lauren Sucher of the Environmental Working Group, a Washington, D. C., organization that compiles data on toxicology. . . Still other cooks may avoid Teflon altogether because of safety concerns. A letter to Dear Abby that ran in The Chronicle on May 7 from a distraught "Bob in Atlanta," was a cautionary tale about a beloved 26-year-old Amazon parrot who died from exposure to fumes emitted by a burned Teflon pan. Bob's parrot perished from a syndrome known as Teflon toxicosis, which results from overheated PTFE-coated pans and has been recognized for decades," David Rubien, San Francisco Chronicle.
Chemical found in groundwater near North Carolina DuPont plant|
FAYETTEVILLE, NC -- "The chemical did not come from the new $23 million building where it is produced but from a leaking cement cistern the company no longer uses, company officials said. The chemical, ammonium perfluorooctanoate or APFO, is used to produce Teflon and similar products. The chemical was first found in trace levels in 2003 and also was detected at trace levels in DuPont wastewater discharged into the Cape Fear River, said Larry Stanley, a hydrogeologist for the state Division of Waste Management," Associated Press.
May 25: DuPont shareholders seek SEC probe; Group seeks financial disclosure of Teflon pollution case
SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- "DuPont Co., the nation's second biggest chemical maker, came under renewed fire Tuesday from a rogue shareholder group that wants to know how much the company stands to lose in its ongoing Teflon pollution battles. A group called DuPont Shareholders for Fair Value said it called on the Securities Exchange Commission to investigate whether the nation's second biggest chemicals maker is hiding the cost of its legal and public relations battles over perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a chemical used to make the trademark non-stick coating," Jim Jelter, DowJones Market Watch.
May 21: C8 health project moving ahead; Nurses being sought|
PARKERSBURG, WV -- "As a health survey and monitoring project to determine C8 blood levels of residents in six area water districts moves toward a possible July start-up date, project coordinators are looking for nurses to work in the year-long effort. As part of a final settlement reached in a lawsuit filed by Washington and Lubeck residents against DuPont Washington Works regarding discharge of ammonium perfluorooctanoate, known as C8, into area water supplies, DuPont is paying for a health, education project. The effort includes gathering medical histories and blood samples from residents of six area water districts who are considered 'class' members for purposes of the civil action. Those six districts are in Lubeck and Mason counties in West Virginia, and Little Hocking, Belpre, Tuppers Plains and Pomeroy in Ohio. Advertisements are scheduled to appear in the newspaper this Sunday seeking nurses for full-time and part-time positions that would be for up to one year. Dr. Paul Brooks and Art Maher are organizing and coordinating the project," Pamela Brust, Parkersburg News and Sentinel.
| May 20: DuPont
faces C8 criminal probe|
Department of Justice demands company turn over documents
PARKERSBURG, WV -- "'Federal investigators have begun a criminal probe of DuPont Co.s handling of issues surrounding the toxic chemical C8, company and government officials confirmed Thursday. The U.S. Department of Justice has demanded that DuPont turn over hundreds of thousands of records concerning the chemical and company studies of its dangers. C8 is another name for perfluorooctanoate, and also is known as perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA. For years, C8 and DuPonts emissions of it have been basically unregulated. But in the past few years, C8 has come under increasing scrutiny. Fueled in large part by internal DuPont documents uncovered by lawyers for Wood County residents, the EPA has begun a detailed review of the chemical and sued DuPont for allegedly hiding information about C8s dangers," Ken Ward Jr., Charleston Gazette.
No deal: Pollution scuttles plant|
CHARLESTON, WV -- "Industries that pollute the environment are not the only source of employment for significant numbers of West Virginians. Businesses like Luigino’s depend on a clean environment to produce their products. The state’s dirty water has resulted in the loss of 600 jobs. Other jobs and sources of economic growth are threatened. Tourists and retirees come to West Virginia to enjoy its pristine wilderness, now threatened by mercury pollution and the effects of irresponsible mining. The short-term cost of cleaning up the environment and controlling toxic emissions is well worth the long-term economic benefits for the state," editorial, West Virginia Gazette.
Luigino's sues development agency in W. Virginia|
CHARLESTON, WV -- "Because Luigino's was building a food processing plant, 'there cannot be any environmental stigma' attached to the plant, said Luigino's lawyer George Eck of Minneapolis law firm Dorsey and Whitney. 'We're sure we can prove that the West Virginia Economic Development Authority knew about the suit,'" Jane Brissett, Duluth News Tribune.
Lawsuit: C8 in water scuttled $36 million Parkersburg plant deal|
CHARLESTON, WV -- "Luigino's Inc. has sued the West Virginia Economic Development Authority over the scuttled 2002 agreement that would have landed a 180,000 square foot processing and distribution facility at the Parkersburg Business Park. The Minnestota-based frozen food maker contends the agency breached the agreement by failing to reveal that a class-action lawsuit had raised warnings over the presence of perfluorooctanoic acid, known as PFOA or C8, in the local water supply. C8 causes cancer in laboratory animals and lingers in the environment. Intensive government and industry studies are under way to determine if exposure increases human cancers, reproductive problems or other health disorders. After discovering the allegations on its own, the 'stigma of significant contamination' forced Luigino's to cancel its plans, the lawsuit said. 'Luigino's would have been using hundreds of thousands of gallons of potentially contaminated water each day for the production of frozen food,' the lawsuit said. 'Given the contamination and litigation associated with the area, distributors and retailers would have been justified in refusing to carry Luigino's food products,'" Lawrence Messina, Associated Press.
DuPont announces availability of PFOA [perfluorooctanoic acid] emissions reduction technologies; Available to global fluoropolymer industry royalty-free|
WILMINGTON, DE -- "David Boothe of DuPont Fluoropolymer Solutions said, "'Since all still need to use APFO [ammonium perfluorooctanoate] to make fluoropolymers, this program is not designed to replace this essential processing aid. DuPont will instead add a step to our process that removes nearly all APFO from our aqueous dispersions to accomplish the goal. We expect to announce availability of these next-generation aqueous dispersion products soon.' In addition to source reduction technology for APFO in dispersion, DuPont also is offering royalty-free access to its patents and technology for PFOA emissions abatement, water treatment and recovery for reuse," release, DuPont Chemical.
PRINCETON, NJ -- DuPont settles Teflon allegations, Jack Kaskey, Bloomberg News.
Report asserts shareholders have the right to know more about DuPont PFOA liabilities|
BRATTLEBORO, VT -- "Environmental attorney Sanford Lewis told SocialFunds.com, 'At some point, didn't management owe investors much more information on the mounting evidence and the emerging trends showing increasing scrutiny of this substance, before there were lawsuits and EPA claims against the company? You can argue about whether, when and how any individual item on PFOA should have been disclosed, but the aggregate effect of withholding this whole cluster of issues was to blindside investors in a way that Securities law is supposed to prevent," stated Mr. Lewis. . . 'Information that's been disclosed so far comes out of the lawsuit involving one DuPont facility, but there are several other DuPont facilities where they use or produce PFOA,' said Mr. Lewis. 'We don't know, and DuPont has not disclosed, what kind of liability exposures are associated with those facilities,'" William Baue, Social Funds.
DuPont proposal on disclosing PFOA costs is rejected|
WILMINGTON, DE -- DuPont investor report says chemical giant falls short of full disclosure on Teflon-related costs, release, DuPont Shareholders for Fair Value.
Union contacts U.S. paper companies regarding use of controversial DuPont chemical|
NASHVILLE, TN -- "Citing worker and consumer safety concerns, the nation's largest industrial union has launched an initial inquiry into the use of a Teflon-related chemical by hundreds of food packaging and other paper manufacturers across the country. Boyd Young, president of the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International Union (PACE) before last week's merger of PACE with the United Steelworkers of America to form the nation's largest industrial union, sent a letter to the CEOs of more than 200 major paper companies to alert them about possible health risks associated with using Zonyl(R), a chemical produced by DuPont," release, USW International.
Amalgamated Bank to vote for DuPont stockholder proposal; Investors seek board disclosure related to consequences of chemical used in Teflon|
NEW YORK, NY -- "Amalgamated Bank believes that a proactive approach to disclosure of risks related to DuPont's use of PFOA would allow for enhanced assessment of risks and opportunities related to the manufacture of this chemical and could prevent help protect the company's reputation as a corporate citizen," release, Amalgamated Bank.
DuPont investor coalition urges shareholders to back C8 disclosure proposal; Thousands of shareholders warned about possible impact of hidden C8 costs|
BOSTON, MA -- "A coalition of DuPont Co. shareholders is calling on thousands of concerned investors to urge DuPont management to fully disclose legal fees and other hidden costs associated with the production and use of C8, the potential carcinogen used in DuPont's trademark Teflon and other products. The newly formed coalition -- DuPont Shareholders for Fair Value -- this week delivered letters to 5,000 major investors asking them to support a stockholder proposal forcing DuPont to fully disclose the costs for attorneys, experts, lobbying and public relations associated with the health and environmental consequences of perfluorooctanoic acid, also known as PFOA, or C8," release, DuPont Shareholders for Fair Value.
C8 testing could begin in July|
PARKERSBURG, WV -- "Voluntary blood testing and medical surveys of class members in the C8 class action lawsuit filed against the DuPont Washington Works plant could begin in mid-July. Also, awards of $50,000 each have been approved for the 12 original plaintiffs named in the C8 lawsuit, and Wood County Circuit Judge George W. Hill has also signed an order approving a separate settlement agreed to on behalf of five class members," Pamela Brust, Marietta Times.
Mar 21: Permits reissued for DuPont landfill in Wood County
DEP refuses to limit discharges of chemical C8, not covered by pollution rules
LUBECK, WV -- "State regulators have reissued permits for a DuPont Co. landfill in Wood County and declined to limit the dumps discharge of the toxic chemical C8. The state Department of Environmental Protection renewed water pollution and waste management permits for DuPonts Dry Run Landfill on March 3, officials said last week. The permits had last been renewed in April 1998, and formally expired in April 2003. Hundreds of area residents objected to the permit renewal, and some demanded that DEP forbid or strictly limit C8 discharges from the facility. DEP officials refused to ban C8 discharges, and said that they could not even limit them because the state has no water pollution standards for C8. Since the dump was opened in 1984, DuPont has disposed of large amounts of C8-contaminated wastes in the Dry Run facility. Company tests have confirmed that C8 is leaching from the landfill into Dry Run Creek," Ken Ward Jr, Charleston Gazette.
Mar 18: DuPont C8 announcement 'too little, too late' to protect workers, consumers
PACE International Union says company still fails to come clean about health risks of C8 and related chemicals
Decatur Utilities finds no Teflon-related contamination in water, but lawsuit test results disagree|
DECATUR, AL -- "Timothy Kropp, senior scientist for Environmental Working Group . . . said he wasn't surprised by the results. But he noted that Decatur Utilities's water intake is upriver from the Decatur plants where PFOAs [perfluorooctanoic acid] were made or used. He said the group would continue to urge the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to test the water in cities with intakes down river. Previous studies found 500 to 600 parts per trillion in the river up to 40 miles downriver, Kropp said," Martin Burkey, Decatur Daily News.
DuPont to cut amount of chemical used to make Teflon|
WILMINGTON, DE -- "Dupont spokesman Cliff Webb said Tuesday that the Washington Works plant had reduced emissions of the chemical by 99 percent in the past six years. DuPont managed the reductions by recycling PFOA and using less of it in its products, he said. DuPont and three other companies that compose the Fluoropolymer Manufacturers Group have told the Environmental Protection Agency that they will further reduce PFOA emissions by 90 percent by 2006," Associated Press.
WILMINGTON, DE -- DuPont to cut use of C-8 for Teflon. "Jane Houlihan, a vice president at the Environmental Working Group, a DuPont critic, said the changes won't eliminate the threat to human health. She said consumer products containing fluorotelomers break down and release PFOA, which then enters the bloodstream. DuPont disputes that claim. 'It's good news for the communities around the plant and the workers, but it doesn't help the rest of the world,' Houlihan said of the effort to replace PFOA in chemical processing," Richard Sine, Wilmington News Journal.
C8 suit's settlement could set precedent|
MARIETTA -- "The settlement of the class- action lawsuit against DuPont for making the chemical C8 may be a sign of things to come as two other communities across the country have proceeded with lawsuits of their own. A lawyer representing the plaintiffs in Minnesota and Alabama, the site of the two class-action lawsuits, said the Monday settlement with DuPont approved by a Wood County judge only validates his clients' position," Justin McIntosh, Marietta Times.
| Mar 1: Judge Hill approves C8 settlement
PARKERSBURG, WV -- "Following a four-hour fairness hearing Monday, Wood County Circuit Judge George W. Hill gave final approval to a settlement in the C8 class-action lawsuit filed against DuPont Washington Works. 'This agreement seems to be a very unprecedented action by a huge corporate defendant, taken in the spirit of community good neighborship. I want to compliment DuPont on the action taken in this case, and all this is being taken prior to there actually being any submitted evidence of any disease causation. It is unprecedented in the size and nature of this proceeding. I hope it turns out there is no connection, that C8 is not toxic and that it didn't cause and will cause no disease or problem. I don't know whether it will or won't. But, for the good of the community, and the nation as a whole, I hope that is the result. I will grant the joint motion to approve the settlement,' Hill said. No one in the fourth-floor judicial annex courtroom on Monday voiced objection to the settlement ," Pamela Brust, Parkersburg News Sentinal.
PARKERSBURG, WV -- Judge approves DuPont settlement, Ken Ward Jr, Charleston Gazette.
| Mar 1: Judge
approves DuPont settlement
Company agrees to pay at least $107.6 million over use of chemical C8
PARKERSBURG, WV-- "A Wood County judge on Monday gave final approval to a more than $100 million settlement of a lawsuit that alleged DuPont Co. poisoned tens of thousands of peoples drinking water with the chemical C8. The settlement paves the way for a landmark study of C8s effects on human health and an equally groundbreaking review of Parkersburg-area residents exposure to the chemical. Wood Circuit Judge George W. Hill Jr. called the deal, initially announced in September, 'a very shrewdly and competently organized proposal.' Hill noted that Congress and President Bush moved recently to limit the use of class-action lawsuits, but said the case against DuPont has served the public interest. Under the settlement, DuPont will pay at least $107.6 million and could eventually be on the hook for another $235 million, depending on the outcome of a new C8 study," Ken Ward Jr, Charleston Gazette.
Union officials accuse DuPont of unethical practices|
WILMINGTON, DE -- "DuPont union officials are questioning Chief Executive Charles Holliday's $1.4 million in salary, bonus and stock option increases. In a press release, they said the company was not acting ethically, pointing to a recent guilty plea by joint venture DuPont Dow Elastomers to price-fixing and charges by federal regulators that the company withheld information about PFOA, the chemical used to make Teflon," Wilmington News Journal.
NASHVILLE, TE -- DuPont CEO bonus excessive, PACE union workers say, release, Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International Union, Feb 4, 2005.
Customers must decide on blood tests for C8|
PARKERSBURG, WV -- "Customers of six area water districts who are part of a proposed settlement in a lawsuit against DuPont Washington Works could receive $400 each if they participate in the blood testing offered as part of the settlement. . . A final hearing on the settlement is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Feb. 28 before Wood County Circuit Court Judge George Hill. Class members have been notified of the settlement terms by mail, public notices have been printed in newspapers and notice was printed in Parade Magazine. The members include anyone who uses water from a system that has been found to have the chemical in it," Pamela Brust, Marietta Times.
Increased chemical levels in Little Hocking|
Increased chemical levels in Little Hocking water attributed to a wet weather
| Jan 21: Little
Hocking water system records highest levels of C8|
WASHINGTON COUNTY -- "'Recent testing at one water distribution site in the Little Hocking Water Association revealed the highest C8 levels in that district. Ammonium perfluorooctanoate, often referred to as C8 has been used by DuPont at its Washington Works plant across the Ohio River from Washington County since the 1950s as part of its manufacturing process, which includes the production of Teflon. Little Hocking Water Association is a user-owned, nonprofit association incorporated May 23, 1968. It is the largest rural water system in Washington County with more than 4,000 water taps serving about 12,000 people," Pamela Brust, Marietta Times.
U.S. officials accuse DuPont of concealing Teflon ingredient's health risk|
PARKERSBURG, WV -- "'Someone made a conscious decision to expose us to this without telling us,' said Robert Griffin, general manager of the Little Hocking Water Association, which supplies drinking water to 12,000 Ohio customers from wells across the river from the Teflon plant. 'If you wanted people to be lab rats for such a long period,' Griffin said, 'nobody would ever allow it.' . . . Last spring, former DuPont chemist Glenn R. Evers told a lawyer for people living near the DuPont plant that the chemicals can be absorbed from french fry boxes, microwave popcorn bags and hamburger wrappers, among other items, according to a partial transcript filed by the U.S. EPA. The company responded by describing Evers as a disgruntled former employee with little direct knowledge of PFOA," Michael Hawthorne, Chicago Tribune.
U.S. EPA draft cites 'important' Teflon issues|
Pollutants linger in humans, but levels not yet believed hazardous
WILMINGTON, DE -- "Federal officials released the draft report amid continuing disputes over risks posed by findings that humans and animals around the globe have unexplained low levels of the chemicals in their bloodstreams. Some studies already have provided 'suggestive evidence' that the chemicals may increase cancer risks, the report noted. Weight loss in animals, delayed sexual maturity, changes in the liver and cholesterol levels, and death shortly after birth were found in various animal studies," Jeff Montgomery, Wilmington News Journal.
PARKERSBURG, WV -- DuPont says C8 assessment is welcomed, Jeffrey Saulton, Parkersburg News and Sentinel.
WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. EPA has concerns about chemical used to make Teflon, John Heilprin, Associated Press.
LOS ANGELES, CA -- U.S. EPA taps outside experts to solve Teflon enigma, Marla Cone, Los Angeles Times.
COLUMBUS -- U.S. EPA detects threat to lab animals in C8, Spencer Hunt, Columbus Dispatch. Includes a 'Products with Teflon' sidebar. Access fee; no link.
MORE ON DUPONT AND C8
U.S. EPA warns of Teflon chemical health risks|
WASHINGTON, DC -- "The U.S. EPA issued a draft assessment of the potential risks of perfluorooctanoic acid and its salts, known as PFOA, or C-8. The report, based on animal studies, says some evidence exists that PFOA is carcinogenic in rats, but the cancer hazard for people is less certain. . . It suggests the chemical targets the liver and is present in the breast milk of rats," Associated Press.
PRINCETON, NJ -- DuPont Teflon chemical has cancer potential, U.S. EPA Says, Bloomberg News.
WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. EPA tilts risk document on Teflon chemical in DuPont's favor; Agency contradicted internal agency guidelines in health assessment for toxic Teflon chemical. "The Agency ignored its own science panel's guidance and internal industry research with today's assessment of the human health risks from the Teflon chemical. In March 2004, the U.S. EPA's Scientific Advisory Panel instructed the U.S. EPA that when assessing the family of chemicals that include this Teflon ingredient, the Agency had to consider that several types of cancers, including testicular and pancreatic cancers, are relevant to humans. The Agency ignored the panel's instruction in today's risk assessment. And, the Agency ignored its internal guidelines on defining cancer potential. The guidelines require that when just one of five criteria for causing cancer is met, a chemical should be considered carcinogenic. The Teflon chemical meets three of those five criteria," release, Lauren Sucher, Environmental Working Group.
WILMINGTON, DE -- U.S. EPA Draft Risk Assessment, statement, Dupont Chemical.
WILMINGTON, DE -- DuPont finds no link between C-8, cancer, Richard Sine, Wilmington News Journal.
WASHINGTON, WV -- DuPont releases C8 study of 1,024 workers, Kate York, Marietta Times.
WASHINGTON, WV -- DuPont health study report released, Pamela Brust, Parkersburg News and Sentinel.
COLUMBUS -- DuPont study finds no link between C8, health problems; Critics question how research was done, say results subject to misinterpretation, Spencer Hunt, Columbus Dispatch. Access fee; no link.
DuPont study finds link between Teflon contaminant and elevated cholesterol|
PARKERSBURG, WV -- DuPont reports first-phase results of health study examining PFOA exposure; To date, no human health effects known to be caused by PFOA; Several statistical observations merit further study, release, DuPont Chemical.
PARKERSBURG, WV -- DuPont results announced, Todd Baucher, WTAP-TV News.
PARKERSBURG, WV-- Employees who work near C-8 show increased cholesterol levels, Associated Press.