DuPont to pay $16.5 million for hiding chemical’s risks

DuPont will pay $16.5 million in a settlement with the U.S. EPA for failing to report information on health and environmental risks of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a chemical used to make Teflon and other plastics. Greenies are ticked that the company won’t be forced to admit liability or apologize, and say the fine is woefully inadequate for DuPont, which makes an estimated $200 million annually from products manufactured with PFOA. The chemical can build up in blood, persist for years in the body, and contaminate water, and it may cause developmental defects. The deal includes a $10.25 million fine and at least $5 million devoted to studies officials hope will explain why PFOA is being found in people and animals worldwide. Ironically, one reason DuPont got dinged in the first place was for hiding a study on PFOA’s impacts for about 20 years. But hey, more studies never hurt. Not like PFOA itself, anyway.