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