WASHINGTON (Feb. 1) — DuPont Co. is disputing the finding of an independent scientific review panel that perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, an essential processing aid in the manufacture of Teflon and other fluoropolymers, is a "likely" human carcinogen.
"Rigorous, peer-reviewed studies have shown no human health effects associated with PFOA," DuPont said in a press release. "The weight of evidence indicates that PFOA exposure does not pose a health risk to the general public."
The panel, convened by the Environmental Protection Agency to review its draft report on PFOA, contradicted the EPA´s conclusion that there was only "suggestive evidence" of the chemical being a cancer-causing agent.
In December 2005, DuPont agreed to pay $10.25 million to settle alleged PFOA-related violations of EPA rules. The following month, the EPA announced a global stewardship program for PFOA users to reduce their use of the chemical 95 percent by 2010 and 100 percent by 2015.
DuPont said in its press release that it already has reduced PFOA emissions from its U.S. plants by 96 percent and has offered to share its technology with other companies.