DARK WATERS (2019) Review: The Ugly Side of Consumer Science

DARK WATERS (2019) Movie Review: The Ugly Side of Consumer Science

Dark Waters stars (and produced by) Mark Ruffalo as lawyer Rob Bilott, who is hired by a group of small town folks from Parkersburg, West Virginia, to investigate the suspected poisoning of their local water supply and nearby dump by a company called DuPont plant. Yes, that DuPont.

Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins, Bill Pullman, Victor Garber, Mare Willingham also star in this film directed by Todd Haynes.

The film is an insidiously captivating movie experience as we watch Bilott battle DuPont within the limits of the legal system as DuPont is in it for the long battle using every trick in the legal book to keep defending itself and its use of these highly toxic chemicals to make their products.

The chemicals turned out to be extremely toxic to living organisms and are known as PFAS, or forever chemicals. Unlike many chemicals that flush through our system, these do not. They stay around forever and accumulate within your body as you are exposed to them.

The lawsuits were initially filed against DuPont by Bilott in 1999. So while I was watching the movie, when Bilott was first hired, I presumed the case would be an informative and eye-opening bit of info. But what started in 1999, went on for 20 years as Dupont defended their use of the chemical.  The chemical is used in common, everyday products we use, like teflon pans and waterproof clothing and coating on eyeglass lenses.

It’s an insidious situation where companies favor profit over the welfare of others.

One of the issues is that the EPA only regulates compounds in their databases, and PFAS are only in their databases when a company submits the substance study.  There are hundreds of PFAS in existence that are not in the EPAs database. 

An environmental group had documented a decades-long deception of chemical companies like DuPont burying the truth that PFAS build up in our blood and present risks to human health. They showed that by the 1960s, animal studies conducted by DuPont revealed that PFAS chemicals could pose health risks.

And to this day, Dupont and other companies fight the lawsuits.


The articles at this link documents A LOT about this problem that a few companies have willingly subjected our species to:  

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