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Stain-Resistant, Nonstick, Waterproof, and Lethal: The Hidden Dangers of C8

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It's everywhere. It's toxic. And it lasts forever. Asbestos? Nuclear waste? No. This statement, made by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2003, refers to a little-known but ubiquitous chemical compound whose trade name is C8. Manufactured by DuPont, it is used in the making of a plethora of stain-resistant consumer products, including microwave popcorn bags, food pack It's everywhere. It's toxic. And it lasts forever. Asbestos? Nuclear waste? No. This statement, made by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2003, refers to a little-known but ubiquitous chemical compound whose trade name is C8. Manufactured by DuPont, it is used in the making of a plethora of stain-resistant consumer products, including microwave popcorn bags, food packaging, nail polish, car finishes, pizza boxes, and many other common items. Recently named a likely carcinogen by the EPA, C8 has been linked to cancer, reproductive disorders, birth defects, and respiratory problems.The first members of the public to hear about C8, in 2002, were the residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley, whose water supplies were found to contain detectable amounts as the result of emissions from the DuPont Washington Works Plant near Parkersburg, West Virginia. As a result, in 2003 the EPA announced it was launching a multi-agency review of the manmade chemical, which became the largest investigation of its kind. The EPA was concerned because early tests indicated that C8 could already--and unexpectedly--be found in the blood of 96 percent of Americans. In 2005 DuPont settled a class action lawsuit with Valley water consumers for more than $200 million, and the EPA has called for a global phase-out of C8 involving eight companies. As a local journalist, Lyons has covered the C8 issue from the beginning. Here she tells the story of how the danger of C8 first came to light when a West Virginia family lost an entire herd of 280 cattle to a mysterious wasting disease within a mere decade, following forty years of successful farming. The die-off began in the mid-1980s, after the family sold some land to DuPont. The chemical company used the property as a landfill, dumping C8, which made its way into the public water supply. By the time the EPA investigated the situation, the same substance detected in the water in West Virginia and Ohio--which has by now spread to a total of twelve states and counting--could also be found leeching off of thousands of consumer products and into the bloodstreams of millions of people around the world.


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It's everywhere. It's toxic. And it lasts forever. Asbestos? Nuclear waste? No. This statement, made by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2003, refers to a little-known but ubiquitous chemical compound whose trade name is C8. Manufactured by DuPont, it is used in the making of a plethora of stain-resistant consumer products, including microwave popcorn bags, food pack It's everywhere. It's toxic. And it lasts forever. Asbestos? Nuclear waste? No. This statement, made by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2003, refers to a little-known but ubiquitous chemical compound whose trade name is C8. Manufactured by DuPont, it is used in the making of a plethora of stain-resistant consumer products, including microwave popcorn bags, food packaging, nail polish, car finishes, pizza boxes, and many other common items. Recently named a likely carcinogen by the EPA, C8 has been linked to cancer, reproductive disorders, birth defects, and respiratory problems.The first members of the public to hear about C8, in 2002, were the residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley, whose water supplies were found to contain detectable amounts as the result of emissions from the DuPont Washington Works Plant near Parkersburg, West Virginia. As a result, in 2003 the EPA announced it was launching a multi-agency review of the manmade chemical, which became the largest investigation of its kind. The EPA was concerned because early tests indicated that C8 could already--and unexpectedly--be found in the blood of 96 percent of Americans. In 2005 DuPont settled a class action lawsuit with Valley water consumers for more than $200 million, and the EPA has called for a global phase-out of C8 involving eight companies. As a local journalist, Lyons has covered the C8 issue from the beginning. Here she tells the story of how the danger of C8 first came to light when a West Virginia family lost an entire herd of 280 cattle to a mysterious wasting disease within a mere decade, following forty years of successful farming. The die-off began in the mid-1980s, after the family sold some land to DuPont. The chemical company used the property as a landfill, dumping C8, which made its way into the public water supply. By the time the EPA investigated the situation, the same substance detected in the water in West Virginia and Ohio--which has by now spread to a total of twelve states and counting--could also be found leeching off of thousands of consumer products and into the bloodstreams of millions of people around the world.

34 review for Stain-Resistant, Nonstick, Waterproof, and Lethal: The Hidden Dangers of C8

  1. 4 out of 5

    Addie

    Information is slightly dated and very slanted. The scientific detail and explanation are great though.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michele

    Reporter's summary on the history, exposure, damage and politial/legal battle surrounding this processing aid in certain types of manufacturing (teflon, scotchguard, even some paper products).Well written, filled with details. Reporter's summary on the history, exposure, damage and politial/legal battle surrounding this processing aid in certain types of manufacturing (teflon, scotchguard, even some paper products).Well written, filled with details.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Painting

    Just what we need: another unnatural toxic chemical to keep around for hundreds of years. A sad, pathetic account of how people are taken advantage of by sloppy, irresponsible chemical companies for the sake of convenience and big bucks.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

  5. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jon Conlin

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Amour

  8. 4 out of 5

    Natasha

  9. 5 out of 5

    Krista the Krazy Kataloguer

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ngaio

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

  12. 4 out of 5

    B. Adriana

  13. 5 out of 5

    Christina Marie

  14. 4 out of 5

    Monica

  15. 4 out of 5

    Anna

  16. 4 out of 5

    Pavel

  17. 4 out of 5

    Marit

  18. 4 out of 5

    Molly Rose

  19. 4 out of 5

    Gary

  20. 4 out of 5

    Steven Williams

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gábor

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lance

  23. 5 out of 5

    Erin Horner

  24. 4 out of 5

    BookDB

  25. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Faden

  26. 5 out of 5

    Virginia

  27. 4 out of 5

    Akshay Chalana

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tarecq

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chris Skeens

  30. 4 out of 5

    Allan Morley

  31. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlin

  32. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

  33. 4 out of 5

    Leah

  34. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

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