November 5, 2005
The News Journal (Delaware)
Teflon value touted to SEC.
DuPont says billions staked to use of C-8.
By GARY HABER
The News Journal
About $1 billion in DuPont Co. sales could
be affected if the federal government were to ban or restrict
a chemical the company uses to make Teflon, DuPont said Thursday
in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
In the filing, DuPont notes that the Environmental
Protection Agency does not currently regulate perfluorooctanoic
acid, also known as PFOA and C-8, and there are no regulatory
actions pending that would bar its production or use.
"However, there can be no assurance that the
EPA or any other regulatory entity will not in the future choose
to regulate or prohibit the production or use of PFOA,'' the company
DuPont sold about $1 billion
worth of products in 2004 that could be impacted by a PFOA restriction,
according to the filing.
DuPont uses the chemical compound to make Teflon,
a popular nonstick coating commonly used on cookware.
And because of its ability
to resist heat, PFOA is also an ingredient in other high-performance
materials that DuPont uses to make products ranging from wire
and cable linings to firefighting foam and airplane hydraulic
Thursday's filing is not the
first time DuPont disclosed the $1 billion impact of a potential
PFOA ban or restriction. The company first included the information
in its second-quarter earnings filing with the SEC in August.
An attorney for a group of DuPont shareholders said
the company should tell shareholders more about the possible risks
of the company's use of PFOA.
"It seems time for the company to come up with
a plan for getting out of these materials that are jeopardizing
this revenue stream,'' said Sanford Lewis, lawyer and spokesman
for a group calling itself DuPont Shareholders for Fair Value.
The group's members, who include the United Steelworkers
of America and Amalgamated Bank/New York, own a combined 488,000
DuPont shares. The holding is relatively small compared with some
who own tens of millions of shares.
Lewis' group filed a shareholder resolution this
year asking the company to reveal more about PFOA. The resolution
garnered support from about 9 percent of the voting shareholders,
an amount Lewis said was high.
On May 17, the Department
of Justice's Environmental Crimes Section served a grand jury
subpoena on the company asking for documents about PFOA. Plaintiffs
in Florida and 12 other states have filed lawsuits against DuPont,
alleging the company failed to disclose to consumers the possible
health risks of Teflon.
DuPont shares closed Friday at $43.31, up 30 cents
or 0.7 percent, in New York Stock Exchange trading.
Contact Gary Haber at 324-2878 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 2005, The News Journal.