PFOA 2005
July 22, 2005. DuPont officials say Teflon suit will not impact Bladen plant.
By Jack McDuffie. The Bladen Journal (North Carolina).

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July 20, 2005

The Bladen Journal (North Carolina)

DuPont officials say Teflon suit will not impact Bladen plant

BY JACK McDUFFIE, Staff Writer

A $5 billion suit is being filed by two Florida-based law firms against DuPont, maker of Teflon, claiming that the company has failed to warn consumers of dangers associated with the chemical used to make the product.

The DuPont Fayetteville Works plant near the Cumberland County line in northwest Bladen County produces the chemical used to make Teflon.

Company officials have refuted claims that the product presents a danger and say the suit will not impact operations at the Bladen plant

The plant is the only DuPont site that makes the chemical-perfluorooctanoate (APFO)-used to produce the Teflon used in a wide variety of products from cookware to phone cable, to computer chips, and even clothing. In cookware, the Teflon is in the form of a non-stick coating on a metal base.

The lawsuit-filed on behalf of 14 clients in eight states-claims that DuPont has known that the chemical used to produce Teflon has been shown to cause cancer in lab animals and the company has failed to warn consumers of the dangers.

APFO is a slightly different form of the chemicals used to produce Teflon-perfluorooctanoic acid and its salts, known in the industry as PFOA or C-8.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs are asking that DuPont replace cookware bearing the Teflon coating and to a warning label notifying consumers of the dangers associated with the product. In addition, it asks that two funds be established for medical monitoring and to fund scientific research on the subject.

According to DuPont officials, the company began manufacturing the chemical at its Fayetteville site after its creator-Minnesota-based 3-M Corporation-quit producing it. DuPont also formerly produced the chemical in a facility near Parkersburg, West Virginia, before the production plant in Bladen was constructed.

Company officials say that cookware with Teflon is safe and that the coating does contain PFOA, the chemical used to produce the product. They state that federal tests verify this fact.

Trace amounts of PFOA were found in the groundwater at the Fayetteville site two years ago but DuPont officials said it came from a leaking cistern that had been used to store the product, rather than from its new plant.

A class action lawsuit filed against the company in 2001 by residents living near the Parkersburg plant was settled out of court, when the company agreed to pay for medical screenings for residents of the area.

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