By the time he called me, he had lost over 100 cows. Let me start with a tweet from Nancy, who wants to know, “Should I just throw away all my old nonstick cookware? So Sharon, where does it go from here? So where do we stand now? 30 Broad Street, Suite 801 Bilott, an attorney and 1983 graduate of New College of Florida, was profiled in The New York Times Magazine in January 2016, in an article headlined “The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare.” IRA FLATOW: And so what did DuPont documents say about the health risks of PFOA? IRA FLATOW: And the first thing that you’re asking for is to actually study the chemicals, study the problem itself? Many other industrial uses– Rob, do you have others? IRA FLATOW: And how widespread– you know, I mentioned that it’s in lots of different things. For the authoritative record of Science Friday’s programming, please visit the original aired/published recording. DuPont had been sampling the drinking water supplies of the surrounding community and as early as 1984 had found that the chemical was in the public water supply. Chris asks, “What are the myriad uses for this substance that makes it so difficult to phase out quickly?” Sharon, you want–. I mean, I tried going to our environmental library at the time. But Bilott went on to win a community-wide class-action lawsuit in 2004 to clean up contaminated water and get medical monitoring for residents. But that’s the system that has worked so far.”. And that’s what I think we have to deal with now, is, what do we do about what’s already out there? Biden‘s picks for State Department and national security adviser are conventional. There are actually many, it turns out. “But one of the systems I think you see throughout the film, and then the book, that worked well was the legal system. CLAUDIA: Hi. Bilott brought a class-action suit against DuPont on behalf of 50,000 Parkersburg-area residents, which the company settled in 2005 for more than $300 million. LIZ: So I live in Meigs County and was one of the– my family drank this water. And even though it wasn’t regulated– the regulatory agencies didn’t know anything about it– DuPont had set its own drinking water guideline. This is back in 1999, the year 2000. And we finally started getting internal documents. Bilott wrote a book titled “Exposure: Poisoned Water, Corporate Greed, and One Lawyer’s Twenty-Year Battle against DuPont,” which was released in October. How are these products and chemicals even being, like, approved to be in products in the first place? And so when I heard that he had gotten my name as a recommendation from my grandmother, I started listening and invited him to come up and show us what he had, what he was concerned about. And the other thing to keep in mind is that because of all those uses, what we’re finding now is this chemical is showing up in drinking water all over the country. And, you know, we heard the name of it. Robert, what do you think? SHARON LERNER: Oh, there are so many. Robert Bilott was an unlikely adversary for DuPont. And he blurted out that he had gotten my name from my grandmother. And there’s a new book out about it called Exposure, and a new movie about this called Dark Waters based on his story comes out November 22. Dark Waters is no exception. A scientific panel funded by DuPont as part of the settlement linked PFOA to kidney and … A lot of them are not tested. And we’ve put a home filtration system in for our own water. And subsequently, we’ve learned that GenX is in the drinking water of some 250,000 people in North Carolina. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has set an advisory limiting the presence of 70 parts per trillion or less for the family of PFAS chemicals. And if water, you know– the deep aquifers can be penetrated by– we call it C8, was the word that they used with us. In the course of a lawsuit against the chemical corporation, Bilott had uncovered a trove of internal company documents, showing DuPont had been quietly monitoring the chemical’s health risks for decades, studying laboratory animals and their own workers. And we’re going to have to take a break. ROBERT BILOTT: Well, it was about eight years into that working at the firm. Information from The Associated Press was included in this story. Let me get an answer. Sainer Pavilion, 5313 Bay Shore Road And I think we need– and you don’t need, you know– we have accepted sort of these modern conveniences of, you know, stain-free carpets. Those cases were settled. But maybe we just would be OK with a stain on our carpet. And it turns out that, again, some of them pose some of the same health problems. Or whose decision is that? He talked about it, as he said, for about two decades, he’s been on a crusade. IRA FLATOW: I want to bring on another guest. Robert, go. Gov. du Pont de Nemours and Co, better known as DuPont, on behalf of a West Virginia farmer whose cows were dying. “We had a massive public health study that went for seven years after that. It’s called Exposure. You know, some people argue that they have some essential uses, some industrial and medical uses. But the most disturbing thing was we were seeing that the company had all these documents, but we didn’t really see where any of this information was being shared with the regulatory agencies or really was known outside the company. Trials in related cases continue today. But that doesn’t address all of the years and thousands of tons of this stuff that’s already out in our environment, in the soil, in the water, in our blood. And in the process, he uncovered a trove of internal documents about a chemical called PFOA. They’re even found in breast milk. So that started me on a whole other journey. And where does that suit stand now? He raised several hundred head of cattle on a piece of property outside of Parkersburg, West Virginia, right along the Ohio River. So it’s an incredibly complicated and slow process. ROBERT BILOTT: Yeah, you know, thanks so much for calling. if (!window.mc4wp) { The new national class action suit would hold the manufacturers themselves responsible for the costs of the research. IRA FLATOW: Do we know what levels it’s dangerous, or? While many attorneys would have stopped with the first case that yielded a sizable paycheck, Bilott’s behemoth legal battle against toxic fluorinated chemicals has spanned decades. But I think it’s between 4,000 and 7,000 actual chemicals, PFAS chemicals. SHARON LERNER: So it was much higher, right? Well, after DuPont was sued by the EPA in 2004, they agreed to settle that case, and then right after, announced a phase-out of any further manufacturer of the chemical in the United States. And over the preceding couple of years, he had noticed all kinds of problems with his cows– tumors, they were wasting away, their teeth were turning black. The website is sponsored by the Ohio Manufacturing Association. The Environmental Working Group has created a map of known contamination sites, including drinking water, in the United states. Our number, 844-724-8255. ROBERT BILOTT: You know, I think that’s a great list.

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