GenX

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GenX is a brand name for chemical process that uses 2,3,3,3-tetrafluoro-2-(heptafluoropropoxy)propanoic acid (FRD-903) and produces 2,3,3,3-tetrafluoro-2-(heptafluoropropoxy)propanoate (FRD-902) and heptafluoropropyl 1,2,2,2-tetrafluoroethyl ether (E1). The chemicals are used in products such as food packaging, paints, cleaning products, non-stick coatings, outdoor fabrics and firefighting foam.[1] The chemicals are manufactured by Chemours, a corporate spin-off of DuPont, in Fayetteville, North Carolina.[2]

GenX chemicals are used as replacements for PFOA (C8) for manufacturing fluoropolymers such as teflon.[3][4]

PFOA and related compounds have been found to be toxic and carcinogenic.[5]

Pollution[edit]

The Chemours Fayetteville plant has released GenX compounds into the Cape Fear River, which is a drinking water source for the Wilmington, North Carolina area. The water supply may have been contaminated for a decade or more, resulting in controversy over its potential health effects.[6]

On September 5, 2017, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) ordered Chemours to halt discharges of all fluorinated compounds into the Cape Fear River. NCDEQ cited Chemours on November 14, 2017 for violating provisions in its NPDES wastewater discharge permit, following a chemical spill on October 6.[7]

On November 2, 2017, a federal lawsuit was filed by the Brunswick County Government alleging that DuPont failed to disclose research regarding potential risks from the chemical.[8]

On May 7, 2018, Cape Fear River Watch announced their intention to bring suit against Chemours in 60 days for numerous Clean Water Act violations. Acting as legal counsel, Southern Environmental Law Center filed the suit under section 505(b) of the Clean Water Act. A non-profit organization in Wilmington, North Carolina, Cape Fear River Watch (CFRW) aims to protect and improve the water quality of the Lower Cape Fear River Basin through education, advocacy and action.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Basic Information on PFAS". PFOA, PFOS and Other PFASs. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 2018-02-18. 
  2. ^ "GenX Frequently Asked Questions" (PDF). GenX Investigation. Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ). 2018-02-15. 
  3. ^ Beekman, M.; et al. (2016-12-12). "Evaluation of substances used in the GenX technology by Chemours, Dordrecht". National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM, The Netherlands). Retrieved 2017-07-23. 
  4. ^ "What is the difference between PFOA, PFOS and GenX and other replacement PFAS?". PFOA, PFOS and Other PFASs. EPA. 2018-02-18. 
  5. ^ Lau C., Anitole K., Hodes C., Lai D., Pfahles-Hutchens A., Seed J. (October 2007). "Perfluoroalkyl acids: a review of monitoring and toxicological findings" (PDF). Toxicol. Sci. 99 (2): 366–94. doi:10.1093/toxsci/kfm128. PMID 17519394. 
  6. ^ "N.C. drinking water tainted with chemical byproduct for decades?". CBS News. 2017-06-26. 
  7. ^ "GenX Timeline". NCDEQ. Retrieved 2018-04-22. 
  8. ^ Clabby, Catherine (2017-11-02). "Newest GenX Lawsuit Attacks DuPont Science". Chapel Hill, NC: North Carolina Health News. 
  9. ^ Alder, Cole (2018-05-18). "Cape Fear River Watch to file suit against Chemours". Boston, MA: Northeastern University SSEHRI PER- AND POLYFLUOROALKYL SUBSTANCES The Social Discovery of a Class of Emerging Contaminants.