The law does require that the EPA keep a current list of all chemicals used commercially in the US, but it does not require that the chemicals be tested for environmental or human health impacts. The first case involved a woman who said exposure to C8 caused her kidney cancer. He died of cancer in 2009 at age 67. The evidence they've found is chilling. All you can really do at this point is make an effort to avoid the stuff as much as possible. By Joe Whitworth, Cellophane, Mylar, Tyvek, Rayon, Lycra – household names to this day – were all developed by DuPont in the past century. "Link between food packaging and cancer." That year, Bilott filed a class action lawsuit against DuPont, Leach, et al. The low-but-constant levels of PFOA consumed by residents in their drinking water have upped the rates of kidney and testicular cancer. The lawyer for the farmer finally realizes the surfactant issue. “Well, I drank my water. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. A global phase-out is our best bet for future health safety. One 2001 email describes a scientist warning that when airborne, C8 is so hard to deal with that “it might require the public to wear ‘gas masks.’”. The chemical is expected to stay in the environment for thousands of years. The story began in 1951, when DuPont started purchasing PFOA (which the company refers to as C8) from 3M for use in the manufacturing of Teflon. One of the biggest sticking points was whether safety tests should be required before companies were allowed to put new chemicals on the market – an effort that the industry successfully blocked. Concerns about the hazards posed by Teflon and C8 began to garner public attention only about 15 years ago. The goal is to drastically reduce the shocking extent to which PFOA shows up everywhere (pizza boxes are another offender). The material turned out to be an inert fluorocarbon – Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) – that had superior nonstick properties. April 16, 2012. I’m prohibited by law from assisting you. The court’s verdict in her favor might just set the tone for the rest of cases that will come to trial. This fall, Congress was on the verge of passing TSCA reform measures. Now, information emerging from millions of pages of internal company reports reveals that several DuPont scientists and senior staff members had for many years either known, or at least suspected, that C8 was harmful. “In many ways, C8 is a poster child for the failures of US toxic chemical law,” says Bill Walker, one of the authors of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) report on C8. Starting around 1951, DuPont began using another laboratory-formed chemical known as Perfluorooctanoic (PFOA) acid, or C8 (so called because it contains eight carbon molecules), to smooth out the lumpiness of freshly manufactured Teflon. The company also made artificial fertilizers, fungicides, pesticides, plastics, and paints. DuPont had purchased the patch of land, which included a creek that ran directly into the Ohio River, from Tennant in the 1980s, telling him that it would be used as a non-hazardous landfill. That same panel of independent scientists found another hair-raising health link last year. I agree that this is a wake-up call. There is some risk associated with ANY cancer treatment, and the reader should not act on the information above unless he or she is willing to assume the full risk. According to DuPont's spokeswoman, Janet E. Smith, "DuPont has commercialized new alternatives that are made with short chain chemistry that cannot break down into PFOA." Tennant and his family members, too, suffered breathing difficulties and cancers. You can literally count on one hand the number of chemicals that EPA has banned or widely restricted under TSCA: asbestos, PCBs, dioxin, CFCs, and hexavalent chromium (made famous in the movie Erin Brockovich). Additionally, TSCA allows manufacturers to claim some information, including the chemical’s identity, as a trade secret. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Democracy is in peril. And yet the law is so toothless that neither company was really concerned about being caught by the EPA.”. Almost two decades ago, Carla Bartlett, a then 41-year -old West Virginia secretary and mother of two, was first diagnosed with cancer – what her surgeon later labeled a “garden variety” type of kidney cancer. “It’s that look of He’s different. But soon after the landfill got underway, the creek started to turn black and smelly. Perfluorooctanoic acid. DuPont used that monopoly to illegally cover up its own research that showed that C8 was making its workers ill. “But for the lawsuit, it is very likely that the EPA would be completely unaware of this chemical as well its toxicological profile,” says Ned McWilliams, another plaintiff’s attorney. “We have been proud to publicize the fact that more than 60 percent of our sales in 1950 resulted from products that were unknown, or at least were only laboratory curiosities, as recently as 1930,” a DuPont rep told a group of financiers in 1955. He got rid of his cancer completely. For several years, the Manufacturing Chemists Association, an industry trade group that counted DuPont as a core member (known as the American Chemistry Council today), managed to block any attempt to regulate the industry. Soon, the victories started pouring in. In the meantime, I'll be watching for updates from DuPont as it phases out the chemical. For decades, DuPont created the toxic chemical for use in Teflon, the nonstick coating commonly used in pots and pans. (Teflon has been made without PFOA since 2013.) For kidney cancer, risk is up by a shocking 170 percent. When the Tennants cut open a cow to investigate the cause of its death, they discovered that its internal organs had turned bright, neon green, video footage recorded by the rancher shows. Within a few years, about 280 of Tennant’s cattle, which drank water from the creek, had died.