Issue Date: July 12, 2004
EPA says DuPont failed to report PFOA findings
For nearly 20 years, DuPont failed to give EPA information that a fluorochemical it manufactured was found in umbilical cord blood of a female worker's baby in 1981, the agency alleged last week. In a legal complaint, the agency claims DuPont violated the Toxic Substances Control Act because the company did not inform EPA that perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a substance used to make Teflon, had crossed the placenta and moved into the developing baby. EPA is concerned because PFOA causes development problems in laboratory animals. In addition, the agency alleges that DuPont failed for years to report that the company found PFOA in public water supplies near its Parkersburg, W.Va., plant. DuPont responds that it has obeyed the law and "will vigorously defend" itself against the agency's allegations. EPA has not yet decided on the size of the fine it will seek from DuPont, but it could be as high as $310 million.
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