Serena Zacharias | December 27, 2019
Rob Bilott received a call from a farmer in Parkersburg, W.Va., more than 20 years ago who said his cows were dying at an alarming rate. A corporate attorney for a large law firm in Cincinnati, Bilott took on the case as a favor to a family friend, but as he continued to investigate, he realized the problem was much more serious than he’d anticipated.
Eventually connecting the death of the animals to the nearby chemical manufacturing plant, Bilott discovered the culprit: the company’s use of PFOA, or perfluorooctanoic acid. Specifically, it was the manufacturers tendency to dispose of the chemical into the Ohio River that was causing problems.
Years later, the newly released legal drama “Dark Waters,” follows Bilott’s struggle to hold the DuPont chemical company accountable for polluting the water supply.
In the past few decades, research on per- and poly-fluorinated compounds, or PFAS, which includes PFOA, has increased, and as Bilott continues to fight for legislative action to protect communities from these chemicals, a University of Notre Dame professor has been finding PFAS in more and more everyday products.
Read more here.