A chemical replacement for a key ingredient in Teflon linked to cancer and a host of other ailments has been found in the drinking water system of the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA), which cannot filter it.

Known commercially as GenX, the contaminating compound is made by the Chemours at Fayetteville Works, a 2,150-acre industrial site straddling the Cumberland-Bladen county line along the Cape Fear River, about 100 miles upstream from Wilmington.

Other water systems that tap the Cape Fear, including some that serve portions of Brunswick and Pender counties, likely have GenX present as well — though only CFPUA has been tested.

In a statement provided this week, Chemours officials said they are aware of the studies and that “additional water emissions abatement technology” was added to the Fayetteville Works plant in November 2013. That installation occurred more than three years prior to the latest confirmed discovery of GenX in the Cape Fear downstream from the plant. The company did not provide details on the abatement technology.

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