Welcome to Clean Cape Fear
We are an alliance of established advocacy groups, community leaders, educators, and professionals working together to: restore and protect our water quality; spotlight deficiencies in governmental regulations; and hold DuPont/Chemours accountable.
We wish we didn't exist, but sadly, we do. Toxins aren't the only things polluting our community; misinformation, uncertainty, and corporate greed are getting discharged into our systems as well.
The researchers who discovered GenX - and whose published findings led to the discovery of this issue by our local media - also found 6 other UNREGULATED man-made chemicals in our river, likely being discharged by Chemours in the manufacturing of Teflon-type products as well as vinyl ether. The EPA then discovered two more 'unknown' compounds being discharged by Chemours in the process of manufacturing Nafion, which the EPA has termed Nafion Byproducts 1 and 2.
There are NO standards or water quality testing requirements by the Environmental Protection Agency, the World Health Organization, or our state and local agencies for GenX, Nafion, or the other 'unknown' compounds in our drinking water supply.
GenXand Nafion -- as well as the other compounds (discovered so far) that were, or are being discharged by Chemours -- are close cousins to C8. C8 was the chemical that GenX replaced and was proven to have been associated with cancers and other serious health issues, and resulted in millions of dollars in lawsuits for DuPont/Chemours in Ohio and West Virginia.
According to the EPA, exposure to PFOA/PFOS(like C8) "... may result in developmental effects to fetuses during pregnancy or to breastfed infants (e.g., low birth weight, accelerated puberty, skeletal variations), cancer (e.g., testicular, kidney), liver effects (e.g., tissue damage), immune effects (e.g., antibody production and immunity), thyroid effects and other effects (e.g., cholesterol changes)."
DuPont has acknowledged the toxicity of GenX in 16 separate reports filed under the Toxic Substances Control Act.
The EPA clearly stated to the industry producing GenX (DuPont and then Chemours), that this chemical could only be used if 99% of it NEVER entered the water system. But due to a loophole, it, and other chemicals like it - have entered our drinking water supply - since 1980.
GenX numbers have decreased after public and political pressure led to Chemours shutting off discharge (voluntarily and without any binding agreement), and transporting the waste offsite.
But, Nafion, a compound resleased from a separate process by Chemours and presumed by toxicologists to be even more toxic than GenX, was recently found in much higher concentrations than that of GenX and there is even less known about this compound. Scientists are working to figure out a way to test for this compound in our river and we anxiously await results.
It should be the responsibility of industry to filter dangerous chemicals BEFORE they reach our drinking water; it should not fall on the consumer to pay to clean up their mess.
It is the responsibility of our regulators to properly review permits and properly monitor industry to ensure they are not polluting our waterway and drinking water.
It is the responsibility of our Public Utilities to be fully aware of known regulated toxins and known UNREGULATED toxins in our drinking water. And once aware, it is their duty, as a public service entity - to notify the public of the existence of these toxins AND whether or not they are treatable through their water treatment facilities. GenX is a known unregulated toxin. CFPUA was aware of its presence in the river - and the cocktail of other chemicals like it. AND, they were aware that their system could not treat these chemicals before the water reached our homes.
Stick with us as we work to share information we personally value and trust. We'll also pass along action-oriented ways you can hold Chemours and our public officials accountable.
We are working hard to share this information, because safe, clean drinking water is a basic human right.