By B.N. Frank
Newly released film Dark Waters is based on true events which led American lawyer Robert Bilott to investigate DuPont.
From Film School Rejects:
Bilott’s environmental crusade began in 1998 when he was contacted by Wilbur Tennant, a farmer from Parkersburg, West Virginia, whose cattle had been dying as a result of suspected poisoning. The farmer believed that the chemical company DuPont was responsible for their deaths, but no local lawyers were willing to accept his case because the corporate entity wielded too much influence and power in the town.
Upon accepting the case, Bilott discovered that DuPont had been dumping chemical waste — including an unregulated chemical compound called Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) — near the site where Tennant was raising the cattle. PFOA wasn’t public knowledge at the time, but during his research, the lawyer was given access to 160,000 DuPont files which revealed that the company had been using the substance since 1951.
Despite what has happened in the past, there seems to be no shortage of corporations putting profit over people in the U.S. and worldwide. This led to Ruffalo requesting a hearing to address Congress about “Forever Chemicals”:
The hearing was centered on a chemical abbreviated as PFAS. The substance is used in firefighting foam and has contaminated the water near at least 425 military sites, causing health problems for military members and their families.
Ruffalo and many Democrats used their time to talk about PFAS manufacturers’ long held knowledge of the harms of their products.
PFAS manufacturers like 3M and DuPont “made billions upon billions of dollars producing chemicals they knew were building up in our blood and they knew they were toxic but failed to tell anyone,” Ruffalo said
“In America, it falls to us, the ordinary people to prove that these chemicals are toxic before the chemical is regulated by our government,” he continued. “That is simply backwards.”
Backwards but very profitable to the corporations who choose to operate this way as well as the elected officials they financially support. Sad and infuriating but true.
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