PFOA 2005
November 5, 2005. Teflon value touted to SEC. DuPont says billions staked to use of C-8.
By Gary Haber. The News Journal (Delaware).

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November 5, 2005

The News Journal (Delaware)

Teflon value touted to SEC. DuPont says billions staked to use of C-8.

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 said.

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 systems.

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

Copyright © 2005, The News Journal.

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