Dark Waters is a 2019 movie directed by Todd Haynes and written by Mario Correa and Matthew Michael Carnahan that deals with a real water contaminant that we are still dealing with today in the United States. The screenplay was based on the 2016 article "The Lawyer Who Became DuPont's Worst Nightmare" by Nathaniel Rich, published in The New York Times Magazine in June of 2016. The film stars Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins, Bill Camp, Victor Garber, Mare Winningham, William Jackson Harper, and Bill Pullman.
Robert Bilott (Mark Ruffalo), a corporate lawyer from Ohio working for a large law firm and is visited by West Virginia farmer Wilbur Tennant. Mr. Tennant asks that Robert investigate and possibly link a number of unexplained farm animal & human deaths in Parkersburg, West Virginia to one of the world's largest corporations, DuPont.
When Bilott (Mark Ruffalo) reaches the farm, Tennant reveals that over the past couple of years, he has lost close to 200 cows to strange medical conditions such as bloated organs, black teeth, and huge tumors.
Mr. Bilott files a small suit so he can gain information through legal discovery of the chemicals that have been dumped on the site. He does not find anything useful, then realizes it is possible that whatever poisoned Tennant's cattle could be something that is not even regulated by the EPA. After Mr. Bilott files another suit against DuPont, DuPont sends Robert hundreds of boxes, hoping to bury the evidence, but Robert goes through the evidence meticulously and finds numerous references to PFOA, a chemical with no references in any medical textbook.
Later, in the movie, Mr. Billott's wife Sarah (Anne Hathaway) finds him tearing all the carpet off the floors and going through all of their pans in the kitchen because he believes they are being poisoned, he then explains what he has found deep in the DuPont files that were turned over: perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA-C8) used to manufacture Teflon. It was created for army tanks, but then used by companies in American homes for primarily nonstick pans. The movie alleges that Dupont has been running tests of the effect of it for decades, including on animals and on their own employees. Their own studies show that it caused cancer in animals, people, and birth defects in babies of women working on their line and they never said a thing. We won't ruin the rest of the movie but if you are concerned about your water quality, it is definitely worth a watch.
What should you know about PFOA?
PFOA persists indefinitely in the environment. It is a toxicant and carcinogen in animals. PFOA has been detected in the blood of more than 98% of the general US population in the low and sub-parts per billion range, and levels are higher in chemical plant employees and surrounding subpopulations. How general populations are exposed to PFOA is not completely understood but it has been labeled the "Forever Chemical." PFOA has been detected in industrial waste, stain resistant carpets, carpet cleaning liquids, house dust, microwave popcorn bags, water, food, some cookware and PTFE such as Teflon. Bottomline, get rid of your non-stick pans even if they say PFOA free and go with glass.
How To Remove the Contaminant in Dark Waters From Your Drinking Water
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