Friday, December 16, 2005

I guess we'll need a new name for blame-slipping politicans...

Via the Environmental Working Group:
Today the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it will fine Teflon maker DuPont $16.5 million for two decades' worth of covering up company studies that showed it was polluting drinking water and newborn babies with an indestructible chemical that causes cancer, birth defects and other serious health problems in animals. The chemical is in the blood of over 95 percent of Americans.

After learning about the company cover-up from an Environmental Working Group (EWG) petition, EPA brought its lawsuit against DuPont in July 2004.

Today's fine is the largest administrative fine the EPA has ever levied under a weak toxic chemical law. However, as EWG noted, the $16.5 million fine is less than half of one percent of DuPont's after-tax annual profits from the Teflon product when averaged over the 20-year cover-up.

I always used to think of Teflon as one of the real miracles of modern science: a material with amazing physical properties, one of which was its inertness. Turns out there were some serious issues regarding birth defects among children of exposed workers. And, what do you know, it also turns out that there are even issues regariding the safety of teflon when heated -- you know, like for instance on a stove or in an oven.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for locating this, I had not seen it anywhere else.

Do you know if by any chance the penality they paid prevents future class action suits on the same issue?

It would make a lot of sense for you to send your article and related links to folks at the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, etc.

Thank you again.

10:47 AM  

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