The companies Chemours, DuPont and Corteva announced on Friday they agreed pay more than $1 billion to settle claims that “forever chemicals” contaminated US public water systems.
The family of ubiquitous synthetic chemicals – per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS – persist in the environment and in the human body, where they can cause serious health problems, and are found in everyday products including fast-food wrappers, makeup and carpeting.
In June, based on the latest science, the EPA issued health advisories who said the chemicals were more dangerous to human health than scientists had originally thought and were likely more dangerous even at levels thousands of times lower than previously believed.
The three chemical giants are facing thousands of lawsuits from across the country alleging toxic chemicals were used in manufacturing and then polluted the environment.
In a statement, Dupont said it has “never produced PFOA or PFOS.” CNN reached out to the other companies for comment on the allegations, which they denied in a press release on Friday.
The three companies said they agreed to contribute a total of $1.185 billion to a settlement fund. Chemours will contribute 50 percent (about $592 million), and DuPont and Corteva will jointly contribute the remaining 50 percent, at about $400 million and $193 million, respectively.
The water systems serve the “vast majority” of the US population, the release said.
So far, the three companies have reached an agreement in principle. A definitive agreement is expected to be finalized later this year in the US District Court for the District of South Carolina, the companies said.