Dupont fined more than $10 million over Teflon reporting

DuPont makes C8 settlement Since the 1980s, the Federal EPA has charged DuPont with eight counts of failing to report the dangers of the chemical C8 used to make Teflon. C8 has been known to cause liver cancer in lab rats. In a statement released today, DuPont says the $16.5 million will settle those violations. But the company does not admit any liability. Sandy Buchanan, a spokesperson for the Environmental organization, Ohio Citizen Action, says the group would liked to have seen stiffer fines.

“This is one of the very few times that EPA has ever levied a fine against a company for hiding critical public health information. And so in that sense it’s very important. We all would have liked to have seen a higher level of fine. But it is actually the highest level fine that EPA has ever issued.”

In 2002, the EPA started investigating the chemical after it was found in the drinking water of 10 Ohio and West Virginia communities near DuPont’s Washington Works facility. C8 is used to put non-stick and stain- and water-resistant coatings on pans and clothing. C8 is also used in food packaging for products like microwaveable popcorn.

DuPont did not return calls in time for broadcast. But the company said it did not report the findings because the amount of C8 found in the water fell below the detection limit set by the company. In April, the EPA ordered DuPont to lower its detection levels.

Studies have shown that 90 percent of Americans have trace amounts of C8 in their blood. And so far tests have shown no damage to the livers, kidneys or thyroids of people who drank the contaminated water. But the EPA says it’s a “likely” human cancer risk. Buchanan says her organization wants DuPont to stop using C8.

“What we really want is for DuPont to get these chemicals out of products that can expose people to them.” $10.25 million will be paid in fines while the remaining $6.25 million will help fund environmental projects.