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Advocacy organization shares toxic report of Daikin America’s Decatur plant

“Daikin America has a poor safety record and you know, making PFAS is really a toxic manufacturing process,”
Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 8:54 PM CDT
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DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - For the last month, WAFF has been investigating reports of fatal chemical exposures at the Daikin America Plant in Decatur. Our coverage led a group of concerned environmentalists to contact us.

That group called Toxic-Free Future just released a report about Daikin’s plant and the environment, and they’re concerned about Daikin’s production of PFAS chemicals and the impact on the environment and the health of north Alabama.

“Daikin America has a poor safety record and you know, making PFAS is really a toxic manufacturing process,” said Toxic-Free Future science director Erika Schreder.

She says Daikin is the only producer of PFAS for food packaging in the U.S.

“If PFAS are being produced in the United States, it’s because it’s being produced in Decatur, Alabama,” said Schreder.

PFAS discharge is what led to a water crisis for some Morgan and Lawrence County Residents 5 years ago.

“PFAS exposure has also been linked to cancer, thyroid disease, as well as high cholesterol. We also found that the Daikin America facilities in Alabama report admitting hundreds of thousands of pounds every year of a potent greenhouse gas known as HCFC-22,” said Schreder.

Schreder says that gas is 5,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide, an ozone-depleting gas. She worries about Daikin’s impact on the world’s climate.

Here’s Daikin’s statement regarding Toxic-Free Future’s report:

However, Schreder says this is something the plant can find safer ways to do.

“We can find ways to make food packaging that doesn’t involve contaminating drinking water for a community and putting an entire community’s health at risk. As long as PFAS is being produced in Decatur, there will be threats to the community’s air and water and health,” said Schreder

Six states have banned PFAS in food packaging.

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