In a HuffPost Highline investigation, Mariah Blake takes a look at how in the late 1940s, DuPont built the Washington Works Plant in Parkersburg, West Virginia, a facility that was to become one of the chief production sites of the revolutionary non-stick material Teflon. Almost immediately it became clear to Dupont officials that C8, a soapy chemical that gives Teflon its nonstick quality, was toxic—even deadly.
For decades, DuPont engaged in an increasingly elaborate cover-up of the toxicity of C8. In that time, Parkersburg residents who drank the water and hunted the game around Washington Works started getting really, really sick— testicular cancer in teenagers, hive breakouts for shower water, and massive congenital deformities became all but commonplace. But the people of the town are fighting back. In September 2015, the first of more than 3,500 lawsuits claiming damages against DuPont for C8 poisoning begin. Reporter Mariah Blake went to Parkersburg to meet with many of the plaintiffs, through which she weaves a history of the C8 dumping in Parkersburg, the long and arduous journey through the courts, and the miles-deep indifference—in some cases complicity—of the environmental regulators we pay our taxes to fund.
The full story here:
Accompanying the story are video shorts shot by Emily Kassie, starring the plaintiffs themselves.
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