Keep Your Promises DuPont released the following statement in advance of the Highly Fluorinated Compounds – Social and Scientific Discovery Conference at Northeastern University on June 14 and 15, 2017:
Dear Highly Fluorinated Compounds – Social and Scientific Discovery attendee,
As we prepare to begin the conference this week, on behalf of Keep Your Promises DuPont, I wanted to set the stage for what we believe is at stake. Collectively, as activists, scientists, regulators, and concerned citizens, we find ourselves staring down a massive public health crisis for which we currently have no viable, near-term solution. While dozens of communities have discovered PFAS contamination, we believe they represent the tip of the iceberg and that the full extent of this crisis has yet to come to light.
Through our work at Keep Your Promises DuPont, a central truth has become clear: proceeding with the current business-as-usual approach in our activist, scientific, and regulatory work will be insufficient to protect our communities from the contamination of water with these harmful chemicals.
Our movement for safe drinking water, for accountability from corporate polluters like DuPont, and for adequate regulation of the chemical industry is egregiously under-resourced. Chemical companies wield immense influence, from lobbying and legal expertise to regulatory influence and PR campaigns, that we will not overcome without an interconnected, well-resourced approach.
Government regulations have been too little too late. The more we learn about PFAS chemicals, the more we see that the only safe level in drinking water is zero parts per billion, yet our families and our communities continue to be treated as guinea pigs. Meanwhile, corporate polluters like DuPont continue to rake in record profits at our expense. Our regulatory model, which considers chemicals to be safe until proven harmful, has proven incapable of protecting public health as corporate polluters have deemed meager fines and settlements to be acceptable costs of doing business. As long as corporate polluters are allowed to profit from these harmful practices, the suffering will continue.
Every day, new communities wake up to PFAS contamination in their backyard. For these communities and those already suffering from PFAS contamination we need the following and more:
- A clearinghouse for information on corporate polluters, best practices for campaigning, and resources to connect with communities nationwide suffering similar issues;
- Robust medical monitoring programs to supply the scientific community with ample data to draw conclusions about the health effects of these chemicals;
- Water filtration to mitigate negative health effects in our communities;
- Compensation for everyone who has been affected by PFAS contamination;
- A national campaign to demand answers about PFOA replacement chemical GenX to ensure that history is not allowed to repeat itself, and;
- A potential boycott of chemical producers such as DuPont.
Our team looks forward to meeting with you at the conference this week and setting this plan in motion.
Action Network Fund