The following is DuPont’s full statement on the situation in Parkersburg, West Virginia:
PFOA is a processing aid widely used by many manufacturers to produce a broad range of industrial and consumer products for more than 60 years. The knowledge base around the chemical, its environmental footprint and its health profile has evolved. Over the same period, the chemical industry and its regulators have also learned a great deal about how to operate more safely and sustainably and to reduce emissions significantly.
Regulators, including the U.S. EPA, have been learning along with the chemical industry about the environmental and health impacts of PFOA. In the 1970’s when DuPont first learned that PFOA was persistent in the bodies of 3M workers, our leaders took reasonable actions to inform and protect employees, to understand the available science regarding potential health effects in animals and people, to seek guidance from knowledgeable third party experts, and to engage regulators. While federal and state environmental authorities never established regulations on the use, handling, emissions or disposal of PFOA, DuPont set extremely conservative exposure guidelines to guard against harm. DuPont took more precautions in the use and handling of PFOA than any other company.
Even before studies were complete, DuPont, along with other companies, voluntarily created a global stewardship program to reduce emissions and phase out PFOA. DuPont completed phasing out PFOA in 2013, and has worked closely with regulatory agencies to develop replacement materials, which provide comparable properties and benefits with improved health and environmental profiles.
In 2004, DuPont reached a settlement to resolve a class action lawsuit involving PFOA that included medical monitoring for local residents and water filtration systems in six area water districts to insure that PFOA is filtered out of the drinking water. DuPont continues to fulfill its environmental and legal obligations under the settlement.
Safety and environmental stewardship are core values at DuPont, and we are committed to upholding the highest standards for the safe operation of facilities and the protection of our environment, our employees, our customers and the people of the communities in which we do business.