Read the full article by Will Hachett (EnvironmentAnalyst)

“Senior figures from Dupont, Chemours and Corteva have welcomed a binding memorandum of understanding as the conclusion of a series of long-running and costly legal battles in the US, concerning financial liabilities linked to PFAS. However, experts say that the settlement is likely to be far from the end of the story. 

Globally, the value of the PFAS remediation market has been estimated at some $1 trillion by PFAS lead for consultancy AECOM, Rosa Gwin. PFAS chemicals, and their PFOA and PFOS variants, have been used in non-stick and fire fighting applications for several decades (EA 29-Apr-20). They are also used for metal plating, car waxes and coatings for fabrics and furniture. The compounds, which are highly persistent in human tissue and the environment, have been associated with adverse human health effects, including cancers. DuPont developed a range of PFAS products under the trade name GenX in 2009.

Jake Hurst, principal consultant for global Dutch-based consultancy Arcadis, notes that litigation related to perceived PFAS impacts is becoming more common outside the US. He comments: ‘While the implications of this latest agreement are hard to predict, they reflect the magnitude and growing awareness of PFAS contamination, particularly with respect to drinking water supplies, and the need for proactive and pragmatic management of potential liabilities.’

Environmental consultant Ian Ross, who has advised both the UK and Australian governments and acted as an expert witness on the subject, adds: ‘The widespread sales of PFAS for use in multiple applications across most industrial and public sectors means that the litigation against DuPont is only the start. A greater understanding of the impact of PFAS on human health and the environment is developing with extremely low standards being set in drinking water, groundwater, soils and surface waters globally…'”