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DuPont Settles Teflon Pollution Lawsuit

Mar 1, 2005 |

DuPont reached a $107.6 million settlement late Monday in a West Virginia lawsuit that took the chemical giant to task for allegedly polluting local drinking water with a chemical used to make Teflon.

The company, which has denied any wrongdoing, said in September it would try to settle the case to avoid lengthy and costly litigation.

The class-action suit was filed against Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont in 2001 after residents near the Washington Water Works in Parkersburg, W.Va., said their drinking water contained traces of perfluorooctanoic acid, also known as PFOA or C-8.

Perfluoroctanoic acid is one of the chemicals that DuPont uses to make Teflon, a non-stick surface coating best known for its use on cookware.

"We are satisfied that this settlement is in the best interests of the persons who are, or were, impacted by exposure to C-8," said Harry Deitzler, a lawyer for DuPont, in a statement released by the company.

DuPont said that as part of the settlement, it has agreed to remove C-8 from local water supplies and establish an independent group of experts to determine whether C-8 exposure is harmful to humans.

If any harmful link is found, DuPont agreed to provide up to $235 million to fund medical monitoring.

Also as part of the settlement, DuPont said it would provide $70 million in cash for a health and education program approved by the court.

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