DuPont commits to safer use of dangerous PFAS chemicals

DuPont has announced a fresh set of commitments to using fewer polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) more safely. The chemical giant says the commitments reflect higher standards of sustainability and environmental and chemical stewardship.

PFAS are a group of chemicals that includes perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), GenX, and other chemicals. They have been used by many manufacturers to produce a broad range of industrial and consumer products and firefighting foams as early as the 1940s.

While DuPont does not manufacture PFAS chemicals directly, the company is actively pursuing alternatives in the manufacturing process when nessecary.

“As a science-based company, DuPont is constantly learning from the past to innovate for the future – in our policies and protocols as well as our products,” said Alexa Dembek, chief technology and sustainability officer for DuPont. “These commitments help ensure our actions align with our expectations for ourselves and the expectations of the communities we serve.”

DuPont will eliminate the use of long-chain PFAS by the end of 2019 and halt the purchase and use of all firefighting foams made with PFAS by the end of 2021.

The company also plans to continue to remediate sites with a PFAS footprint.

“These commitments are designed to strengthen our current chemicals management and stewardship practices so that the new DuPont’s manufacturing and supply chain choices match our commitments to sustainability, our customers and the communities in which we operate,” said Dembek.

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