Engineering News

Toxic ''Teflon'' Chemical Found in Richmond Area Drinking Water
Tuesday August 1, 2:00 pm ET

RICHMOND, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 1, 2006--News from USW: United Steelworkers (USW) and the Sierra Club found perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and related chemicals in Richmond, Va. drinking water samples, including samples taken from four residences and an apartment complex.

"Not only have we found PFOA in the waterways near DuPont's Spruance plant, we're finding it in drinking water," said Joshua Low, Conservation Coordinator for the Sierra Club.

The PFOA found in tap water was from private wells and from an apartment complex supplied by the public water system. The highest drinking water concentration, 6.92 parts per trillion, was found at a home with a private well.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said that PFOA, used to make Teflon and other products, has a high level of toxicity and has shown liver, developmental, and reproductive toxicity at very low dose levels in exposed laboratory animals.

The labor and environmental groups previously discovered PFOA contamination in Grendall Creek and in an unauthorized discharge to Richmond's James River of 7000 parts per trillion.

"DuPont's plan to investigate PFOA contamination ignores several areas where the chemical may have escaped, and we are concerned that employees and the community may have been exposed, "said Jay Palmore, President of the Amphill Rayon Workers, Inc. (ARWI). Company records indicate PFOA was used at the plant for over fifty years.

"No amount of PFOA, which does not break down and may accumulate in the body, should be acceptable in drinking water," said April Dreeke, spokesperson for the USW's DuPont Accountability Project.

Source: United Steelworkers

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