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In 1938, a DuPont chemist accidently created a chemical compound that would make thousands of products water- and stain-resistant. The compound belongs to a family of chemicals known as perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs). PFCs soon made their way into nonstick cookware, carpeting, food packaging, and a host of other products.
But one of these chemicals (C8) turned out to be anything but the “miracle” chemical that DuPont claimed. A new report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) reveals how DuPont covered up the health risks from C8 for decades – and how the company is reneging on promises it made to victims of C8 exposure.
DuPont has known about the negative health effects of C8 for more than 50 years.
Internal research conducted by DuPont revealed that C8 has no safe level of exposure in animals. Subsequent studies demonstrated that PFCs accumulate in the body and are passed from mothers to their babies. Scientists also found cancer clusters among workers at C8 manufacturing plants and birth defects in children born to female employees
DuPont also monitored drinking water sources near its West Virginia manufacturing plant. In 1984, the company detected C8 contamination resulting from decades of waste disposal in landfills, unlined pits, and waterways.
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