Read the full article by Monica Amarelo (EWG)
“WASHINGTON – Solvay Specialty Chemicals failed for up to eight years to report animal and human tests showing the health hazards of one or more of the fluorinated ‘forever chemicals’ known as PFAS, the Environmental Working Group charged today in a petition to the Environmental Protection Agency. For multiple violations of the Toxic Substances Control Act, EWG asked the EPA to levy civil and criminal fines totaling $434 million.
EWG’s petition alleges that in 2005, Solvay obtained test results showing that its new PFAS chemical was just as toxic as a fluorinated compound it was meant to replace – DuPont’s PFOA, used to make Teflon. That year, acting on a petition from EWG, DuPont was fined a then-record $10.25 million for failing to disclose PFOA toxicity studies. DuPont and other companies, including Solvay, subsequently agreed to phase it and similar compounds out by 2015 through the PFOA Stewardship Program.
Yet EPA documents show that Solvay failed until 2011 to report results of tests on two variants of the replacement chemical, chloroperfluoropolyether carboxylate. Solvay’s tests, which found no level of the compound that did not harm rats, were made public only two months ago, when Solvay said it was phasing out the chemical and therefore the toxicity information was no longer proprietary.
In 2019, Solvay submitted a document to the EPA that showed it had been testing its workers’ blood since at least 2011, and knew that the chloroperfluoropolyether carboxylate compounds were building up in their bodies. The lengthy gaps between when the two rounds of tests were conducted and when they were reported – more than five years for the rat study and eight years for the worker study – violate the TSCA rule that requires immediate filing when a company becomes aware of a substantial risk.
‘Solvay may have hindered the EPA’s ongoing PFAS assessments and put public health at great risk,’ said EWG President Ken Cook. ‘We suspect that Solvay deliberately kept these damning toxicity studies from the EPA – a serious violation of federal law that requires companies to immediately report any evidence they uncover that a chemical may pose a substantial health hazard…’”