PFOA Class Action Suit
articles and Documents related to PFOA Class Action
March 19, 2006
Mississippi Free Press
Another polluter not needed
By Dave Winter
On March 7, First Chemical of Pascagoula issued a press release
announcing a new manufacturing line that will add five to 10 jobs.
It turns out that this "new" manufacturing line
is a process that is used to "destroy trace amounts of perfluorooctanoic
acid (PFOA) and direct precursors at a key intermediate step."
What First Chemical, recently purchased by DuPont, fails to tell
you is that this process was in fact being used by another of
It is being moved to Mississippi because DuPont had to pay a
hefty fine for environmental violations imposed by the state where
this process was previously used. DuPont knows that by moving
the process here they will be moving it to a more DuPont-friendly
On March 9, I was present at a meeting to discuss this issue.
First Chemical was represented by three of their executives,
the "people and the environment" were represented by
two members of the Sierra Club and me.
The First Chemical representatives briefed the process as outlined
in their press release. They said that there would "only"
be 1 to 2 pounds of PFOA residue released into the environment
as wastewater per year.
When we emphasized that there was no way to determine how much
it would take to be classified as a danger to citizens that might
come in contact with this runoff, they said that there was no
proof that PFOA was a health hazard. At this point I cited two
reports that disputed that argument -- one by the Environmental
Working Group that disputes point by point the argument made by
DuPont that PFOA is not a carcinogen; the second is by the EPA
itself. Until 2000 the 3M Corporation was the primary manufacturer
of PFOA. In May of 2000 they announced that because of health
concerns to their workers involved in this process, they were
discontinuing the manufacturing of PFOA, at this point DuPont
picked up the process.
You may recall that in October of 2002 First Chemical experienced
an explosion that injured three of their workers and very nearly
caused a major toxic chemical release when pieces of debris barely
missed various storage tanks. In 2004 the U.S. Chemical Safety
and Hazard Investigation Board released their findings. Among
the findings were: ineffective or obsolete safety equipment; ineffective
guidance to their employees on how to handle certain emergencies;
obsolete equipment; and safety alarms not installed. I for one
do not trust a company that will operate with faulty and obsolete
equipment, to handle a process that involves chemicals as hazardous
The Mississippi Gulf Coast is already listed by the EPA and other
agencies as one of the most polluted areas in the United States.
I urge you to call your local state and county representatives
and tell them that you do not want another thing added to our
community that will endanger our families.