An advocacy group has called for closer federal scrutiny of DuPont Chemicals’ plan to spin off its performance chemicals unit.
The action group Keep Your Promises said DuPont’s split into two companies could have a negative impact on the medical monitoring of people in the Mid-Ohio Valley who may have been exposed to the chemical C-8.
In 2013, DuPont decided to spin off its performance chemicals unit into a company called Chemours. The spilt is scheduled for completion in the next few months. Chemours will take on the liability associated with DuPont’s chemical production sites, including its Washington Works plant near Parkersburg.
That plant was the subject of a 2005 settlement that set up a $235 million-medical monitoring program to educate and treat the 100,000 people in the Mid-Ohio Valley who may have been exposed to the chemical C-8. An independent panel of scientists found that C-8 is linked to several serious medical conditions such as kidney and testicular cancer, and thyroid disease. C-8 is used to make Teflon and Gore-Tex.
During a Tuesday, June 9, press conference, Keep Your Promises said Chemours will start with millions of dollars in liability from potential lawsuits and chemical site clean-up from DuPont’s manufacturing processes.
The group said that in filing for the spin-off, DuPont vastly underestimated the potential liability that Chemour will have to take on. Keep Your Promises said that could put the medical monitoring program in jeopardy and urged the Securities and Exchange Commission to take a closer look at DuPont’s spin-off plan.
DuPont said the spin-off would help the companies better compete in the global market and ensure profitability.