Actor Mark Ruffalo, Legendary Attorney Rob Bilott, and CEH Join Forces to Fight the PFAS CrisisBy Ruben Diaz
For nearly 70 years, chemical companies have been poisoning our bodies and the environment without our knowledge or consent. This toxic class of 5000 synthetic chemicals are now found in the blood of 99% of Americans. They are now almost everywhere, in everyone, and live for thousands of years. Yet, they remain unregulated.
Thankfully, environmental heroes like actor and activist Mark Ruffalo and legendary attorney and Dupont nemesis, Rob Bilott, aren’t afraid to take on multi-billion chemical companies notorious for polluting the water we drink, the food we eat, and the air we breathe.
Rob Bilott Helps Poisoned Communities Fight Back – And Win
DuPont invented Teflon in 1946, but it took decades for the world to realize the full extent of the threat it posed to human health. A farmer, Wilbur Tennant, suspected DuPont’s chemical disposal process was to blame. That’s when Tennant went looking for help.
Rob Bilott, an environmental lawyer, who had family ties to the area, took Tennant’s case. Bilott not only won the case but forced DuPont to admit it had been contaminating the local water supply with toxic chemicals that they knew endangered public health. Dupont, rather than warn the community or change the formula of the chemical, chose to hide the evidence showing PFOA was linked to cancer, and reproductive harm. To date, Rob has helped secure over $1 Billion in benefits for his clients that have become seriously ill as a result of PFAS exposures across the country.
This 20-year landmark legal fight made Bilott an environmental hero — and caught the eye of actor, and committed environmental activist Mark Ruffalo. Ruffalo decided to produce and star as Bilott in the upcoming Focus Features’ film Dark Waters. The film, directed by Todd Haynes, tells the harrowing tale of Dupont’s pollution scandal and all those that suffered as a result. Mark is joined in the film by Anne Hathaway, Bill Pullman, and Tim Robbins.
CEH is pleased to announce that on October 7th we’re hosting a special event – “Audacious Action: The Heroes Among Us” – featuring an intimate conversation with Mark Ruffalo and Rob Bilott about America’s PFAS crisis and ways we can protect present and future generations from them.
Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS): They’re Everywhere, Persistent, and Hazardous
Chemical companies sell this product because they make products water- and grease-resistant. They are in non-stick cookware, water-repellent clothing, stain-resistant carpets, lubricants, firefighting foams, paints, cosmetics, and paper plates our kids eat off at schools. We all are exposed to PFAS through contaminated food, air, dust, rain, soil and drinking water.
PFAS: Deadly Persistence
These “forever chemicals” don’t break down. They stick around for thousands of years, can last for decades in our bodies, and can even affect the health and wellness of our children and even theirs. Unfortunately, progress has been stymied, year after year by DuPont, 3M, and Chemours and their high paid lobbyists and generous campaign contributions. The result has thus been expected: Dupont and Co. remain free from regulation and aren’t held accountable for poisoning people and polluting our environment.
The battle is far from over
Since Bilott’s remarkable legal victory, important progress is being made at the city and state level in getting rid of these nasty chemicals. Thanks to the efforts of the CEH, our partners, and concerned people like you, Congress is even starting to take this issue seriously by proposing dozens of bills and amendments that would begin to reduce human PFAS exposure, including making polluters pay for the cleanup of their toxic messes and ceasing the manufacture of certain PFAS proven hazardous – as did DuPont and 3M when they phased out – PFOA and PFOS – the most widely used offenders. But there’s a problem.
The most important step Congress should take is to regulate the entire class of 5000 PFAS. The Senate has proposed an amendment that only regulates 200 PFAS currently in existence. Such a limited scope will only open the door for companies like DuPont, Chemours and 3M to continue to perpetually spawn new PFAS chemicals, allowing this cycle of corporate profit at the expense of human life to continue, perhaps forever.
Thankfully, a bipartisan, stand-alone bill, proposed in the House by New York’s Antonio Delgado (NY – 19) regulates all 5000 PFAS and any future chemical cousins because anything less simply allows this current game of toxic “chemical Whacamole” to continue unabated.All communities deserve the right to know if toxic chemicals are being released into their air, water, food, and soil. It’s time to hold polluters accountable and force businesses to stop putting these hazardous chemicals in consumer products – polluting our bodies and our Earth.Tags: dark waters, mark ruffalo, marquee, rob bilott, San Francisco