A US lawsuit against DuPont claiming that the company’s Teflon non-stick coating was harmful to health has been thrown out.
The four-year-old case – which could have cost DuPont $5bn – was dropped when the court decided it did not meet the criteria for class action status. A class action lawsuit enables a group of people collectively to bring a claim to court. The case in question comprised 22 cases from some 15 US states.
The court did not rule on the question of Teflon’s safety.
The lawsuit argued that DuPont withheld the results of research showing that PFOA, a chemical used in the manufacture of Teflon, released toxic particles during the domestic cooking process. PFOA has been determined as likely to cause cancer.
However, DuPont says that nothing has ever shown that Teflon is harmful.
Following the dismissal of the case, DuPont’s senior vice president Thomas L Sager, said: ”This decision supports our position that cookware coated with DuPont Teflon non-stick coatings is safe for its intended use.
“Teflon is a trusted brand and is used all over the world by millions of people every day.”
The lawsuit was demanding, amongst other things, that DuPont stop making Teflon and either replace all Teflon cookware in use or compensate the millions of owners financially.
It is estimated that, had the case been successful, it could have cost DuPont $5bn.
The company has come under increasing attack for its use of PFOA, and in 2004 agreed to an out-of-court settlement in a class action lawsuit brought by 50,000 people living near one of its plants. The residents argued that PFOA in the water supply had caused birth defects. DuPont denied any liability at the time.