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Persistent Pollutants

DuPont to end use of PFAS chemicals

by Marc S. Reisch
August 30, 2019 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 97, ISSUE 34

 

DuPont is pledging to end use of long-chain per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS) in its manufacturing operations by the end of 2019 and plans to end use of short-chain PFAS “where possible” in the future, a spokesperson says. The firm, which has paid out millions of dollars to settle PFAS water contamination lawsuits, says it is making the commitments to strengthen its position on sustainability and chemical stewardship. DuPont was once a leading manufacturer of PFAS to make products such as Teflon nonstick coatings, but in 2015 it spun off the business into Chemours. PFAS are now associated with diseases including cancer. DuPont also promises to eliminate use of PFAS-containing firefighting foams at its sites by 2021 and to remediate DuPont sites contaminated with PFAS. As part of its stewardship commitment, the firm says it will begin offering royalty-free licenses to its PFAS remediation technology next year. In addition, it vows to fund academic research on other ways to mitigate the environmentally persistent fluorochemicals. Chemours said last month that it no longer makes PFAS-based coatings for food packaging and that its fluoroproducts business now focuses on auto, electronics, and energy storage uses.

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