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March 18, 2005
PACE International Union
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
NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The DuPont Co. plan to reduce the amount of the toxic chemical C8 in a fraction of its product lines is a step in the right direction, say officials of the Paper, Allied- Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International Union (PACE). But they warn DuPont's plan is vague and fails to address legitimate concerns about consumers and plant workers exposed to the potential carcinogen.
PACE represents some 2,000 DuPont workers at six plants. In addition, the union represents over 150,000 more workers in the pulp and paper industry who may handle these chemicals. Union officials are joining the chorus of government officials and environmental and community activists calling on DuPont to come clean with employees, shareholders and communities surrounding its facilities about the health risks associated with years of C8 use.
"We applaud the company's promises - but let's be clear: studies show workers exposed to high levels of C8 have higher risk of certain cancers, heart attacks and strokes," said PACE International President Boyd Young.
"Until DuPont adopts a policy of open and honest disclosure about C8 and fluorotelomers, the health and safety of plant employees, nearby residents and consumers of its products are still at risk."
The Fluoropolymers Manufacturers Group, made up of DuPont and three other companies, agreed to reduce, by 90 percent, the amount of C8 used in the production of Teflon and non-stick cookware. The change would affect about 15 percent of DuPont's product line.
C8 is another name for perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA. Fluorotelomers are stain resistant products applied to food packaging, fabrics and textiles that also break down into PFOA. The chemical never breaks down in humans or the environment; it is found in the blood of 90 percent of Americans.
Last month, a judge in West Virginia approved a $107 million settlement of a lawsuit filed against DuPont on behalf of thousands of residents whose drinking water was allegedly poisoned with C8.
PACE International Union represents over 270,000 workers in the paper, oil, chemical, atomic energy, auto parts, grain milling, cement, and industrial minerals industries.