The non-stick pan, which earns 1 billion US dollars a year, has poisoned the world for 60 years. Attorneys and DuPont died for 17 years to reveal the mystery of cancer.
There is a substance called Teflon, the largest concentrated use in the world is The exterior wall material of Beijing Water Cube, but it is most widely known for its non-stick coating and the rumors that non-stick pans cause cancer. Is this rumor true? Why did the rumors arise? The following is the story of a lawyer who spent nearly 20 years searching for the truth.
Rob Billot is not a top student of Ivy League Law School. After graduating from an ordinary university, he entered a long-established Tuftit As a lawyer. The law firm is not bad or not, and life is not bad or not. Rob has never gotten a lottery, but an occasional call made him get the lottery of life. The caller was a farmer named Wilbur Tennant. He and Rob’s grandmother were friends, so he asked Rob for help. He said that because DuPont had built a chemical burial site next door to his house, which polluted the nearby soil and water, the cattle on his farm were poisoned and almost dead. He wanted to sue DuPont.
One listen Rob was taken aback by DuPont’s name. DuPont is a legendary company that led the revolution of organic polymers in the 20th century. There are hundreds of successful materials developed by DuPont, such as nylon, polyester, and plexiglass. , Teflon, Mylar film, Kevlar materials are all DuPont products, not to mention the creation of Freon in the refrigerant industry , Synthetic pigments in the color industry, etc. In short, DuPont is a Fortune 500 company and an industrial giant. Although Rob was full of doubts, due to the face of his grandmother, he decided to go to Tennant’s farm in person to take a look. Only in this way did Rob fully understand Tennant’s despair.
Tannan Specially collected a bunch of cattle tissues and organs, including the gallbladder which is bigger than the heart, the black teeth of the cattle, the hooves that are naturally curved inward, and the back tumor that looks like a hump. Tennant’s cattle died of illness in large numbers. He buried 190 of them with his own hands. If these cattle were not killed because of DuPont’s chemical waste, who could name the second reason.
After a long and painful decision, Rob decided to represent Tennant’s case. Someone advised Rob, this is by no means a good choice in his career. However, as an environmental protection lawyer, Rob believes that he should do the right thing, not the good thing. Most of Tennant’s cattle died of cancer. This conclusion can easily be proved by an autopsy on the cattle. But the key question is how to prove that the cancer of the cattle is related to DuPont? Even if you take samples in the surrounding water and soil, how can you prove which substance is a carcinogen?
In the first year, Tennant called Rob almost every day, but Rob made no progress. DuPont’s chemicals contaminated Tennant’s entire farm. He and his wife also suffered from cancer. They are farmers on the verge of bankruptcy. If they are not compensated, how can they have the money to cope with the hard life? In a material written to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Rob found a list of all chemical waste landfills provided by DuPont. There was a substance called PFOA, which he had never heard of, because the name came from Does not appear on any list of controlled materials.
Rob I found a chemistry expert. The expert said that the full name of this thing is perfluorooctanoic acid, which produces Teflon, which is non-stick coating. One of the raw materials. As an environmental protection lawyer with ten years of experience, Rob instinctively felt that there was a problem. In the court’s ruling, Rob obtained all DuPont documents related to PFOA, which were classified documents filled with hundreds of cartons for half a century and totaled 110,000 pages. For several months later, Rob sat on the floor of the office alone, sorting the documents, sorting them by time, researching and making excerpts. One by one, bloody and vivid examples were recorded carelessly, and the truth that shocked the world gradually emerged in front of turnip.
Everything started in 1951. DuPont purchased a newly invented chemical-perfluorooctanoic acid from 3M, and added it to the production of Teflon coatings Perfluorooctanoic acid can prevent the coating from caking. DuPont has long discovered that perfluorooctanoic acid is a toxic substance. Its unique chemical structure cannot be degraded normally. It binds to plasma proteins in the blood and enters every organ of the human body through the blood. DuPont uses a large number of animals for experiments. Animals exposed to PFOA will have congenital defects without exception, suffering from testicular cancer, pancreatic cancer, Various cancers such as liver cancer and prostate cancer.
By 1970, DuPont discovered that all the workers in the chemical plant contained high levels of perfluorooctanoic acid in their blood, and the workers continued to get sick. However, DuPont did not report to the National Environmental Protection Agency because Teflon is so profitable that they must not stop production.
In 1981, two of the seven pregnant female workers in the Teflon department gave birth to children with defects, and Bucky Bailey was one of them For one, she was born with only one nostril and her face was severely deformed. Before Bucky was 10 years old, he had about 20 operations, many of which lasted up to 8 hours. The young Bucky could only continue to receive anesthesia and surgery.
When DuPont was still indifferent and only transferred female workers from production positions, how could an ordinary female worker sue DuPont? She can’t even write the molecular formula of Teflon. By 1993, DuPont finally found a substitute for PFOA, but in the end DuPont headquarters decided to continue to use PFOA. Because Teflon’s annual profit has reached US$1 billion at this time, DuPont is unwilling to take any commercial risks. Rob finally unearthed the dusty secrets of DuPont. So now everyone thinks Rob can hit DuPont severely for Tianxingdao? wrong!
Except for the US Environmental Protection Agency’s fine of $16.5 million from DuPont, there is nothing left. why? Because PFOA is a brand-new chemical product, no one knows what impact this chemical product has on humans. DuPont is only a chemical company, not the Environmental Protection Agency. The Environmental Protection Agency has not listed PFOA as a prohibited chemical product. What about DuPont? What about sin? By this time, the lawsuit had been fought for six years. During these six years, no chemical company was willing to hire Rob, so Rob did not bring a dime to Tufter’s income. The annual salary dropped again and again, and in the end it became extremely difficult to even support the family, but the situation is not without turning points. Because DuPont recognized that perfluorooctanoic acid is a toxic substance, the next step can be to claim for victims, provided that Rob must prove that this substance is really present in people’s bodies. What should I do?
Rob came up with a brilliant idea. In the court, he moved that DuPont should pay for the blood drawn for 70,000 residents in the polluted area of the factory. , To establish a huge database, and to determine whether DuPont really hurt these people through scientific research. This proposal is very risky. If people have little or no PFOA content after the test, then DuPont will be able to successfully exonerate. Rob’s more than 7 years of hard work will be wiped out. DuPont is determined to make a bet after careful consideration. A handful. As a result, DuPont paid a total of 33 million U.S. dollars for blood surveys and provided 400 U.S. dollars in rewards for everyone who took blood. Under the reward, everyone was excited. A total of more than 69,000 residents took the initiative to draw blood, and then Rob entered into a long wait.
2 years Three years later, Rob kept calling to ask questions, but the base of more than 69,000 blood samples was too large, and the medical research department in the United States was short of manpower and low efficiency, making him wait patiently every time he called. By this time, the lawsuit had been going on for 10 years. The farmer Tennant and his wife had died of cancer one after another. Rob’s client had already lost confidence in him. Everyone complained that”everyone has to die. Less than compensation”.
Locals working in DuPont regard Rob as a thorn in the eye, because DuPont is a successful company. As long as DuPont employees, banks will be the fastest Approve their mortgage quickly. DuPont’s benefits are very good, and the employee benefits are good. Everyone is proud of working at DuPont. As long as there is no Bucky Bailey in their home and the cow is not dead, people do not understand why Rob insists on holding DuPont. The fourth year and the fifth year after the blood test have passed. Rob’s prime time seems to be spent in waiting. He has achieved nothing and is notorious. No one understands him except his wife and the owner of the Tufte Law Firm. Rob collapsed due to stress. He had blurred vision, trembling arms, slurred speech, and was sent to the hospital for a stroke.
Just when Rob thought he was going to be unable to keep going, In December 2011, 6 years after the blood test, the scientists finally announced the test results. They used the words very carefully:between PFOA and kidney cancer, testicular cancer, thyroid disease, high cholesterol, preeclampsia and ulcerative colitis. There is a possible connection. This is a great victory for Rob. With this result, he can initiate a personal injury lawsuit against DuPont on behalf of 3,535 plaintiffs. However, DuPont has a strong team of lawyers to advise them. They do not agree to pay compensation in a package, and demand that each case be tried and concluded. This is a common strategy used by large companies to deal with personal injury lawsuits. At a rate of 4 cases per year, 3,535 cases between Rob and DuPont have to be tried until after 884. From the first time Rob received a call from Tennant to the end of the story on January 24, 2016, Rob has been working on this case for 17 years.
Are there really carcinogens in nonstick pans with Teflon? Teflon itself is not carcinogenic, and because it is an inert substance, there is no problem even if it is eaten, and it will be excreted with the excretory system. The problem is perfluorooctanoic acid, which is a serious carcinogen. Does Teflon contain perfluorooctanoic acid? Before 2015, all the Teflon produced by DuPont contained PFOA. Because of the widespread use of non-stick pans, 99%of people in the world contained PFOA in their blood, but the amount was very small. To be negligible. Of course, this is what DuPont said. Fortunately, this problem has been corrected, and the new non-stick pan does not contain PFOA.
In fact, in the entire case, DuPont was unquestionably liable for negligence. In order to pursue profit, they used loopholes in the new materials that the regulatory authorities did not understand to create It has produced PFOA for 60 years, causing permanent damage to tens of thousands of people. Rob’s case against DuPont has a far-reaching impact, letting people know that there are more than 60,000 unaudited chemical substances in the world, which are being widely used by chemical companies in various countries. It is unknown whether there is another PFOA in these chemicals.
Rob was almost ruined in this case. He is just an ordinary person, an ordinary lawyer. If he does not win, he may be People stepped on 10,000 feet and threw them into the garbage. Those who lose their righteousness behind their backs for the sake of small gains, slander, or even persecute Rob, they may never have thought that if Rob and DuPont were not fighting, maybe we are still using Teflon made of PFOA today.”Those who hold salaries for everyone, don’t let them freeze to death in the wind and snow.” We must cherish and protect people like Rob. It is precisely because of Rob’s existence that we try to make the light shine through the gaps, and the darkness begins to have nowhere to hide. .