Dow Chemical and DuPont will merge on 31st August 2017 despite concerns being raised over apparent attempts, by both companies, to conceal vast liabilities connected with their respective contamination legacies.
In the case of DuPont, C8 (or PFOA), a toxin used in the manufacture of Teflon remains a major issue despite DuPont recently making a $670.7 million offer to settle C8 lawsuits connected with contamination emanating from its Washington Works plant in Parkesburg, West Virginia. This settlement, if agreed, would include three cases previously tried in a federal court which each received awards running in to the millions of dollars- making the $670m proposed settlement look a paltry amount given the 3,500 cases in the class action seeking damages.
Elsewhere, there are known to be serious issues with C-8 contamination around the US, as well as in the Netherlands, Korea, Australia and other countries. In fact, C8 contaminates every continent and country on the globe, and has been detected in the Pacific Ocean and other bodies of water, where the largest concentrations are in the top surface levels. Future claims against DuPont would seem likely.
Worse still, recently emerging stories suggest that, once DuPont finished using C-8, it moved on to another toxic chemical, known as GenX, and continued dumping it in rivers: CLICK Little data exists on the health effects of GenX, but scientists who have reviewed the few studies available say it may pose many of the same risks as C8: CLICK
After the Dow Dupont merger, the new company will be split into three and there is real concern as to where the Bhopal and C8 liabilities will lie. BMA letter to EU competition commissioner outlines apparent attempts by both companies to evade liabilities: CLICK
Further detail on Dow’s Bhopal liabilities and DuPont’s C8 liabilities: CLICK