I hope everyone takes the time to read this well written article about Du Pont and how companies have gotten away with contaminated communities and hurting the health of people.
In one way, the battle with DuPont has paid off: Last year, the company finally phased out C8. “This is something that affects the entire world,” Deitzler marveled. “And if it weren’t for the Tennants raising a stink, and Rob Bilott discovering that piece of paper, and Paul Brooks and Art Maher doing what they did to collect all that data, nothing would have changed. DuPont probably would have kept putting it up in the air, putting it in the water and everywhere in the world people would be getting more kidney cancer, testicular cancer, thyroid disease. Your blood levels are lower because of the people in this community.”
But C8 can take decades to break down in the human body. It will continue pumping through our veins long after it disappears from assembly lines. Meanwhile, to replace C8, DuPont has simply turned to other closely related substances, such as perfluorohexanoic acid, or C6.
Under the current regulatory system, DuPont is not required to ensure that these chemicals are free of the qualities that made C8 so toxic. While relatively little is known about these substances, most of them have very similar structures and properties to C8, and the limited information that is available reveals troubling effects. Also, while some of the replacement chemicals break down faster than C8 does, they need to be used in larger quantities to achieve the same results, a fact that has caused alarm in the scientific community. This May, 200 scientists—chemists, toxicologists, and epidemiologists among them—signed a statement urging governments to restrict the use of these chemicals because of the “risks of adverse effects on human health and the environment.”