The companies Chemours, DuPont and Corteva announced Friday that they have agreed pay more than $1 billion to settle claims that “forever chemicals”[ads1]; contaminated public US water systems.
The family of ubiquitous synthetic chemicals – per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS – linger in the environment and human body, where they can cause serious health problems, and are found in everyday products, including fast food wrappers, make-up and carpets. .
In June, based on the latest science, the EPA issued a health advisory saying the chemicals are much more dangerous to human health than scientists originally thought and are likely to be more dangerous even at levels thousands of times lower than previously thought.
The three chemical giants are facing thousands of lawsuits from across the country alleging that the toxic chemicals were used in production and then polluted the environment.
In a statement, Dupont said it has “never produced PFOA or PFOS.” CNN has contacted the other companies for comment on the allegations, which they denied in a press release on Friday.
The three companies said they have agreed to contribute a total of $1.185 billion to a settlement fund. Chemours will contribute 50 percent (about $592 million), and DuPont and Corteva will jointly contribute the remaining 50 percent, at about $400 million and $193 million, respectively.
The water systems serve the “vast majority” of the U.S. population, the release said.
So far, the three companies have reached an agreement in principle. A final deal is expected to be finalized later this year in the US District Court for the District of South Carolina, the companies said.