----- Original Message -----
From: Sandra Finley
To: sabest1@sasktel.net
Sent: Thursday, November 17, 2005 10:48 AM
Subject: Former DuPont Top Expert: Company Knew, Covered Up Pollution de

Thanks to Elaine:

NOVEMBER 16, 2005
4:25 PM CONTACT: Environmental Working Group
Mike Casey/Lauren Sucher, 202-667-6982

Former DuPont Top Expert: Company Knew, Covered Up Pollution of Americans'
Blood for 18 Years
Documents: Company Couldn't Find Safe Level of Exposure in 1973 to Chemical
that Never Breaks Down, Clings to Human Blood

Study Results Show Company Found Safer Ways to Coat Food Packaging But
Shelved Them to Save Money

WASHINGTON - November 16 - Glenn Evers was a DuPont employee of 22 years,
one of the company's top technical experts and the chairman of an
invitation-only committee of its 40 best scientists and technical experts.
He holds six patents, and his work has, to date, made the company an
estimated $250 million in after-tax profits. Evers was, by his description,
a dedicated "company man."
He was also the company's top chemical engineer involved with designing and
developing new uses of grease-resistant, or perfluorinated, chemical-based
coating for paper food packaging.
Breakdown chemicals from these coatings and related sources are now in the
blood of 95 percent of Americans, and the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) has spent the last several years trying to determine how they get
DuPont has claimed that it does not know how the chemicals got there - and
that are not aware that their product is responsible.
"If we had any reason to believe that [there] was a safety issue for
fluorinated telomers-based product, we wouldn't have commercialized them,"
DuPont Director of Planning and Technology Robert Ritchie told the
Wilmington News Journal (11/23/03).
Today, however, Glenn Evers told in detail how his former employer hid for
decades that it was polluting Americans' blood with a hyper-persistent
chemical associated with the grease-resistant coatings on paper food
Environmental Working Group (EWG) has obtained and today made public a set
of internal company documents that support Evers' story.
Combined, the Evers story and EWG's documents present a startling chronology
of DuPont's actions:
Evers describes how, in the mid-1960s, the company negotiated with the Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) a weak standard for how much of the paper
chemical coating, which is applied to give packaging grease or liquid
resistance, could contaminate food. The FDA at the time normally required a
two-year study for chemicals it wasn't familiar with, but agreed to base
DuPont's approval on a 90-day test with a 1,000-fold safety factor added.
Evers explains how that standard, which remains in effect today, was based
on the premise that the chemical would leave the body quickly. He explained
that as a company expert, he saw that the company knew, at least by 1981,
that another class of perfluorinated chemicals, such as PFOA
(perfluorooctanoic acid), accumulates in people. It is unclear whether or
not the company ever provided the FDA this information, but Evers explained
how the company continued to worry about this information throughout the
A company document shows that DuPont conducted a toxicological study in 1973
in which it was unable to find a safe level of exposure in lab animals, and
that the chemicals were toxic to the kidneys, liver and blood.
A 1984 internal company memorandum raises the question of which of these
crucial findings, if any, from the 1973 study were provided to the FDA.
A key document shows that in 1987, DuPont's Dr. Richard Goldbaum found that
the company's marquee paper packaging coating chemical, Zonyl RP, could
contaminate food at over three times the federal safety standard, while two
effective alternatives contaminated food at half the federal maximum level.
Evers describes how he and others copied on the results of that study knew
they were "devastating." Evers approached Goldbaum, and then Goldbaum's
superior, Gerald Culling, telling each of them that the results were an
enormous problem and that it would be unethical to continue selling the
product. Both men told Evers not to worry, and that they were "taking care
of it."
Evers realized with time that the company had not ordered a standard,
internal process hazards review to find out why the chemical was above FDA
approved levels. The company did not provide the information to customers,
federal health officials and the public. DuPont did not recall the faulty
product, did not stop its production, shelved the safer alternatives, and
continued to make Zonyl RP - effectively producing for another 18 years the
chemicals that would lead to the contamination of consumers' blood.
Evers says that one of the reasons the company stuck with the problematic
Zonyl RP was that it had adopted the practice of blending substandard
batches in with better batches - and selling the blended versions to its
industrial customers.
Evers describes how DuPont's "Document Retention Program" required
researchers to label all hard copy files to time their destruction. Company
managers could audit employees to ensure compliance, and other staff went
through employees' hard copy files to ensure documents were destroyed. A
master computer program at the company deleted files from company hard
drives after a certain period of time.
Evers tells of how 3M, DuPont's competitor, rapidly abandoned the $150
million per year business using perfluorinated chemicals on paper food
packaging when it realized in 2000 that the chemicals were producing
byproducts accumulating in human blood and that those chemicals were harmful
to developing lab animals. Despite what it knew from the 1987 results by Dr.
Goldbaum and the persistence and toxicity of its own chemicals, DuPont moved
quickly to sell its similar chemistry to 3M's former customers. EWG today
sent the documents to the FDA's acting commissioner, as well as the
inspector general of its parent Department of Health and Human Services
(HHS), requesting the officials act on the new information. The group is
also referring documents to relevant EPA officials.
"These documents indicate a failure to disclose critical public health
information about a toxic chemical that never breaks down, that gets into
our bodies and stays there," said EWG Senior Scientist Tim Kropp. "If we
ever needed a reason to reform the nation's toxic chemical laws, every
American now has one, courtesy of DuPont."
Evers' appearance and EWG's document release comes just a week before a
potentially significant date in the civil suit the Bush administration's EPA
has pursued against the company for suppressing health studies on PFOA,
which is used in the production of Teflon pan coatings. Bush EPA political
appointees could seek the maximum possible fine of $314 million, but they
have shown little appetite for pursuing such a penalty. The next court date
for the civil suit was negotiated to fall on Wednesday, November 23, the day
before the Thanksgiving holiday and the busiest travel day of the year.
"DuPont thinks it has the right to pollute your blood with chemicals, but it
doesn't," said Evers. "Someone could get a fine for dumping trash if he
threw a used tire into the creek behind my house. This company continues to
pollute the blood of the American public with a toxic chemical - what is it
going to end up paying?"
 Email forwarded by:
Sandra Finley
Saskatoon, SK

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