The coating on non-stick pans used in millions of kitchens throughout the world has been linked to birth defects in humans. Chemical firms face claims that perfluorinated organic chemicals such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) are a health threat. PFOA was first used in 1945 and is in Teflon and oil and water-resistant coatings.
DuPont, which makes Teflon, is having to answer accusations in the United States that it had evidence about dangers posed by PFOA but deliberately and illegally kept it secret. The US Environmental Protection Agency says that DuPont concealed its own 1981 research showing that its pregnant workers were passing the chemical to their unborn children. In addition, in 1991, it failed to report evidence that the chemical had contaminated the water supply to 12,000 people.
Bucky Bailey is a member of one of eight families living near the DuPont factory in Parkersburg, West Virginia who are suing the company over the effects of PFOA. His mother, Sue Bailey, was a factory worker exposed to PFOA while pregnant. Mr. Bailey was born with only one nostril and other facial defects for which he has had 30 operations. He has recently married, but does not intend to have children in case they inherit his condition.
Dr. Tim Kropp, the senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group, an organization in Washington DC, said: “The Environmental Protection Agency should force DuPont to pay a punishing fine such that it sends out a signal to all chemical manufacturers that it is not profitable to withhold critical information.
“The Teflon chemical PFOA, like other fluorochemicals, is in people everywhere. It never breaks down in the environment and it’s toxic at or near levels found in humans.
Legal Help For Victims Affected By Teflon
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