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DuPont, Chemours and Corteva to pay $1.2 billion for water contamination lawsuit

Three U.S. chemical companies said they have reached a $1.185 billion settlement over complaints about toxic pollutants known as “eternal chemicals” in drinking water systems.

The pollutants, polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances – commonly referred to as PFAS – can be found in many industrial and cosmetic products and have been linked to infertility, thyroid disorders and several types of cancer. The chemicals have been found in drinking water consumed by thousands of American communities and in products used by millions of Americans.

The substances are called “forever chemicals” because they do not break down naturally in the environment. They also move easily through soils, contaminating drinking water sources and affecting fish and wildlife.

An agreement was reached Friday by DuPont de Nemours Inc., the Chemours Company and Corteva Inc., to “comprehensively resolve all PFAS-related drinking water claims from a defined class of public water systems that serve the vast majority of the population of the United States,” the companies said in a joint statement.

“The companies will collectively establish and contribute a total of $1.185 billion to a settlement fund,” he added.

EPA proposes rules to limit ‘chemicals forever’ in drinking water

The chemical constituents of PFAS are found in commercial and industrial products, including fire fighting foam, food packaging, household cleaning products, shampoos and cosmetics, and nonstick cookware.

Several US states and other countries have banned certain types of PFAS, and many large companies say they will stop using them, but the compounds have appeared in community water supplies around the world.

Due to their persistence in the natural environment, “many PFAS are found in the blood of people and animals around the world and are present at low levels in a variety of food products and in the environment,” according to the report. ‘Environmental Protection Agency. The agency warned last year that the chemicals pose a bigger danger to human health than regulators previously thought.

The impact of PFAS exposure on human health remains “unclear”, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New tech could one day remove ‘chemicals forever’ from your tap water

Friday’s settlement agreement came ahead of a trial set to begin Monday in U.S. District Court in Charleston, South Carolina, in a lawsuit filed by residents of Stuart, Florida – one hundreds of similar complaints across the country alleging harm from PFAS. The settlement still needs to be approved by the judge overseeing the claims, reports the Associated Press.

“This agreement represents the first of many steps to begin to address the harms of PFAS contamination in the United States drinking water supply,” the law firms representing the plaintiffs said in a statement to the PA.

“This DuPont settlement, in our minds, is really only about a fraction of that contamination,” Michael London, a lawyer at one of the firms filing the lawsuit, told the news agency.

The settlement excludes certain water supply systems, including those owned by states or the federal government, and smaller water supply systems.

EPA Warns ‘Forever Chemicals’ Are More Dangerous Than Thought

In March, the EPA proposed the nation’s first drinking water standards for PFAS, which could require water utilities to detect and limit PFAS to 4 parts per trillion. The proposal could require companies to spend billions of dollars to comply with EPA limits.

Many lawsuits are pending against companies that use PFAS in their products. The New Mexico attorney general on Thursday sued 21 companies that made “forever chemicals,” seeking compensation for environmental damage and cleanup costs. Meanwhile, in Australia, landowners whose properties were contaminated with PFAS won a $132.7 million settlement from the government last month. The lawsuit said the government failed to stop chemicals, used in fire-fighting foam on Air Force bases, from leaking into nearby soil and groundwater .

Others seek solutions in technology. Canadian researchers said this year they had developed a filtering method to remove “eternal chemicals” from drinking water and potentially destroy the compounds permanently.

Timothy Puko contributed to this report.


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