C3 Dimer Acid and PFAS
C3 Dimer Acid is used in the manufacture of many products, including some of those made at our Fayetteville location. This material, also known and referred to as HFPO-dimer acid, HFPA-DA or Gen-X, has been detected at low levels in water near our manufacturing facility at Fayetteville.
Dr. Damian Shea, Professor of Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology at North Carolina State University, recently completed a detailed analysis of the currently available data regarding GenX. Dr. Shea said, “Over a decade of scientific data has been collected regarding the safety profile of C3 dimer acid. These data, including numerous toxicology studies, provide compelling scientific evidence that the low levels of C3 dimer acid detected in the environment do not pose a risk to human health.” A copy of Dr. Shea’s paper can be found on this website in the section “Where to get more information.”
As part of our efforts over the last several months, Chemours has worked to develop more sensitive analytical methods to detect and quantify individual PFAS waste product compounds. These waste products exist at extremely low levels, and up until now, methods did not exist to enable us to do further assessment for many of these compounds. Chemours is now engaging an external laboratory to conduct toxicity testing for these compounds.
In addition, as part of our Clean Water Act permit at Fayetteville, we regularly test for the presence of toxic compounds in our discharge water. This test (called a bioassay) exposes a highly sensitive living organism (Daphnia) to the water discharged from our plant, including any PFAS waste products. We conduct these bioassays on a quarterly basis and have been doing this for over 22 years. Except for one sample in 2012, which was subsequently re-tested and resulted in no toxic or harmful effect, we have never seen any toxic or harmful effect.
Finally, in addition to our regular testing program, in October of 2017, we conducted another study—the fathead minnow embryo-larval survival and teratogenicity, EPA test method 1001.0. This study was used to assess the effects of our water discharge, including any PFAS waste products, on the physiological, biochemical and embryonic (fetal) effects on this sensitive organism. We saw no toxic or harmful effect from this study. The full study may be seen at this link, "Fathead Minnow Chronic Toxicity Study".
Nonetheless, we take the concerns of our Fayetteville neighbors seriously and have taken swift action to address the community’s concerns, working closely with state and federal regulators.
Since the summer of 2017, Chemours has taken numerous steps to dramatically reduce water discharges and air emissions of C3 Dimer Acid and other per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) compounds from Fayetteville Works. We are also developing and implementing comprehensive remediation plans to address groundwater concerns. Working under the oversight of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ), we are taking a wide array of substantial actions to ensure that current and future operations are protective of people and the environment.
Chemours recognizes and appreciates the concerns that surfaced beginning last June, and has done its best to limit emissions and address those concerns. Extraordinary progress has already been made since June of 2017. Chemours is now poised to address air and other emissions in an industry-leading manner for environmental protection.
We have deployed a dedicated team of highly-skilled scientists and engineers, including outside experts, to design specialized, long-term, state-of-the-art technological solutions. We are committed to going beyond our legal and regulatory requirements. The solutions Chemours is implementing are intended to meet the expectations of the community for the long term. We are committed to investing in technology that will nearly eliminate all emissions of C3 Dimer Acid and other PFAS compounds. In fact, we are currently investing over 100 million dollars to enable us to achieve this commitment.