Apr. 26, 2005 – A coalition of DuPont investors plans to ask fellow shareholders on Wednesday to require that the company open up its records regarding costs dealing with the environmental and health impacts over the past two and a half decades of a substance used in the production of Teflon.
Perfluorooctanoic acid, otherwise known as PFOA or C8, is used in the production of non-stick coating for pots, pans and other items. PFOA itself has been shown to cause cancer and other health problems in animals, and is suspected of causing birth defects in children.
The coalition, called the DuPont Shareholders for Fair Value (DSFV), together owns 28,000 shares of stock in the company. It includes the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International Union (PACE); United Steelworkers of America; the Sisters of Mercy Merion Regional Community in Merion, PA; Green Century Capital Management in Boston; and DuPont employee John D. Kimmerle of Kenmore, NY.
The company has disclosed that it has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in fines or to settle lawsuits related to PFOA. DuPont Shareholders for Fair Value wants a public accounting of all related expenses DuPont's management has incurred since 1981, including the costs of experts, lawyers, public relations and remediation.
"While DuPont has disclosed some information, we believe more transparency of the costs associated with the companyâ€™s use of PFOA would promote sound corporate governance," reads the resolution that shareholders will be asked to support when they meet Wednesday in Wilmington, Delaware.
DuPont is currently the only US manufacturer of C8.