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Two Versions of an Associated Press Report
WTAP News (Parkersburg, West Virginia)
By Denise Alex
Chemical giant DuPont is planning to reduce the amount of a controversial chemical used in the manufacture of Teflon.
The company says that by the end of next year, the chemical known as C-8, or PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid), will be largely replaced by a new material.
The Environmental Protection Agency has been studying whether C-8 poses a risk to human health.
DuPont and other companies that use C-8 have been discussing the reduction of the chemical for some time now.
Last month a Wood County Circuit judge accepted a nearly $108 million settlement between DuPont and residents who say their drinking water was contaminated by the chemical.
The company also agreed to reduce and test for C-8 contamination in water supplies around its Washington Works plant near Parkersburg.
The original lawsuit was filed in August 2001 on behalf of people living near the plant.
DuPont is based in Wilmington, Delaware. Its West Virginia operations are in Berkeley, Kanawha and Wood Counties.
March 15, 2005
The Beacon Journal (Ohio)
DuPont to cut amount of chemical used to make Teflon
WILMINGTON, Del. - DuPont Co. has pledged to further reduce the amount of a chemical used in making the nonstick substance Teflon, following a $108 million settlement with residents along the Ohio River over possible drinking water contamination.
DuPont has used the chemical, also called PFOA or C-8, at its Washington Works plant near Parkersburg, W.Va., for 50 years. Teflon is used to coat cookware and other products.
Southeast Ohio and West Virginia residents living near the plant sued the company in 2001, claiming the chemical had gotten into their drinking water and posed a health risk.
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.
The company can't eliminate the chemical but will reduce the remaining amounts by substituting it with another substance, Webb said.
"There is no suitable alternative to replace PFOA," he said.
DuPont maintains that the chemical does not harm humans or the environment. State investigators in Ohio and West Virginia have found that the chemical didn't threaten drinking water supplies near the Washington Works plant.
Still, the company agreed as part of last month's $108 million settlement to pay for blood tests of area residents and fund a $5 million independent study of the chemical's effect on humans. DuPont also will provide six drinking water utilities in the area with $10 million worth of equipment designed to reduce levels of PFOA.
The EPA is studying how PFOA makes its way into the bloodstream and whether it should be characterized as a potential carcinogen.