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Type Public
Founded 1802
Founder(s) Eleuthère Irénée du Pont
Headquarters Delaware, USA
Industry Industrial production and manipulation of chemicals, plastics, and rubber
Products Neoprene, Nylon resins, Teflon, Delrin, Mylar, Kevlar, Nomex, Zemdrain, Corian, Tyvek, Nafion, and other industrio-chemical products

E. I. Du Pont De Nemours & Company (DuPont) is a diversified global chemical, agricultural and biotechnology corporation with headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware. It is one of the "Big 6" Biotech Corporations, along with BASF, Bayer, Dow Chemical Company, Syngenta, and Monsanto (so called because they dominate the agricultural input market -- that is, they own the world’s seed, pesticide and biotechnology industries).[1][2]

The company also manufactures and markets consumer products and services in the areas of nutrition, electronics, communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation and apparel. It is one of the world's largest chemical companies, with facilities in over 70 countries.[3] Dupont is the third largest chemical maker (after Dow and ExxonMobil Chemicals) in the U.S. The company operates through five divisions: automotive finishes and coatings; agrochemicals and genetically modified (GMO) seeds; electronics (LCDs, sensors, and fluorochemicals); polymers and resins for packaging; and safety/security materials (under brand names like Tyvek, Kevlar and Corian). In the last decade, DuPont has divested some of its operations. It no longer produces pharmaceuticals and has spun off its fibers operations as well. The company's main focus is now biotechnology and safety/protection.[4]

In the fiscal year ending in December of 2009, the company reported sales of approximately 27.33 billion dollars and had 58,000 employees.[5]. In the fiscal year ending in December of 2011, the company reported earnings of approximately and had 60,000 employees and reported sales of approxmimately 31.1 billion dollars. [6]

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

DuPont has been a corporate funder of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)[7][8]. See ALEC Corporations for more.

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's, and check out breaking news on our site.

Federal Contracting and Opposition to Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order

A DuPont executive sits on the board of the HR Policy Association (HRPA), a trade association. HRPA is a major opponent of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, an order issued by President Obama in 2014 that aims to ensure that federal contractors comply with federal wage laws, health and safety standards, and civil rights laws.[9]

An investigation by the Center for Media and Democracy of OSHA inspection records found that numerous corporations (and/or their subsidiaries)--including DuPont--whose executives sit on the board of HRPA had been cited for serious and repeat violations of OSHA standards from 2013-2015 that would be reportable under the EO. A "serious" violation indicates "a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result" from a hazard, a "willful" violation is cited when "evidence shows either an intentional violation of the Act or plain indifference to its requirements," and a "repeat" violation indicates the business "has been cited previously for a substantially similar condition."[10]

Over recent years, DuPont and/or subsidiaries have had multiple federal contracts with the Department of Defense, the Department of Agriculture or other federal agencies.

As described in detail below, from 2013 to 2015, DuPont or its subsidiaries or related entities have incurred 41 “Serious,” 3 ”Willful,” 4 “Repeat,” and 4 “Other-than-Serious” citations from OSHA, along with $598,836 in OSHA penalties.[11] [12]

The multiple Serious, Willful, and Repeat violations include citations for infractions of safety rules related to four worker fatalities in 2014, some of which were still found to be in violation during a follow-up inspection in 2015, as described below. Some citations are being contested by the company. Recent OSHA citations (May 5, 2015 and April 28, 2014) also include violations under the lockout/tagout regulation that was referenced after a 2010 worker death in Buffalo, New York (see below).

Four Tragic Deaths in Texas, Followed by Additional OSHA Violations
Danger OSHA Dupont Poison Gas.png
In May 2015, OSHA cited DuPont for a hazardous gas leak in November 2014 that led to the deaths of four workers at DuPont’s La Porte, Texas plant after what OSHA characterized as "serious failures" by DuPont. An employee collapsed when 20,000 pounds of gaseous methyl mercaptan leaked into the enclosed space where she was working. Three other employees, including two brothers, were killed one by one by the toxic fumes while trying to rescue her and each other.[13] OSHA issued DuPont 1 “Repeat” and 9 “Serious” violations for failing to train its employees about the ventilation system and use of respirators, as well as a fine of $99,000. The violations are under contest by the company.[14]
“Four people lost their lives and their families lost loved ones because DuPont did not have proper safety procedures in place,” Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels said of the incident.[15]
A follow-up inspection at the same plant in January 2015 found that DuPont was continuing to violate safety rules. OSHA fined the company an additional $273,000, and found 4 “Serious,” 3 “Willful,” and 1 “Repeat” violations.[16] In addition, OSHA placed the company on the Severe Violator Enforcement Program list, which focuses on companies that have “demonstrated indifference towards creating a safe and healthy workplace.”
“We have concerns about the safety culture,” OSHA’s Michaels told the Texas Tribune. “We expect chemical facilities where highly toxic materials are used to have a culture that focuses on ensuring worker protection. It appears to have broken down.”[13] Michaels noted that the fines were "petty cash" for a corporation with approximately $35 billion in annual revenues. The violations are under contest by the company.[13]
Serious Violations at Other DuPont or Its Subsidiaries’ Facilities
Workers Exposed to Hazardous Chemicals in New Jersey
In May 2014, a chemical leak from a tanker truck exposed workers to hazardous chemicals at the DuPont Chamber Works plant in Deepwater, New Jersey. An inspection in response to a complaint led to OSHA issuing 11 violations and initial penalties of $120,300 to E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., Chamber Works. OSHA inspectors cited the company for eight “Serious” violations under the process safety management standard. In addition to the Serious violations, the company failed to perform an analysis addressing hazards related to the storage and transport of chemicals. DuPont Chamber Works also did not perform inspections and tests on the equipment used in chemical processes, resulting in 2 “Repeat” violations, as the company was previously cited for these same violations at other facilities in 2010 and 2011. One “Other-than-Serious” violation was cited because the company failed to address issues relating to hazards promptly. The violations are under contest by the company.[17][18]
Deaths from Chemical Leaks in West Virginia and New York
While violations occurring in 2010 would not be reportable under the terms of the Executive Order, as they are outside the three-year look-back period, the two fatal incidents described below provide background and context for DuPont’s subsequent reportable violations, including the recent fatal accidents in 2015 in La Porte, Texas.
On January 23, 2010 a DuPont worker was sprayed in the face with hazardous phosgene, an herbicide that was used as a chemical weapon in World War I, after a hose ruptured in a storage area in DuPont's Belle, West Virginia plant. The man was taken to the hospital, where he died the following night. The phosgene release was the third hazardous chemical release in two days at the plant. An investigation by the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) found problems with DuPont's use of automated safety software, communication with emergency crews, and equipment maintenance.[19] In July, 2010, OSHA announced that it had fined the company $43,000, citing it for 6 “Serious” and 5 “Other-than-Serious” violations, including the company's failure to properly inspect piping used to transfer phosgene, perform a thorough process hazard analysis for its phosgene operation, train workers on hazards associated with phosgene, thoroughly inspect all high-risk sections of piping used to transfer oleum, and properly install energized electrical conductors.[20] The case closed in August, 2010 and the penalties and citations were sustained.[21]
A storage tank at DuPont’s Yerkes facility in Buffalo, New York exploded on November 9, 2010 due to an undetected leak of flammable vinyl fluoride, killing one worker and causing first-degree burns in another. The Chemical Safety Board, which produced a safety video based on the incident, called the accident “preventable” and identified problems with DuPont's monitoring of flammable vapor.[22][23] After a separate investigation, OSHA announced on May 5, 2011 that it had cited DuPont and a contractor for a combined total of 17 “Serious” violations, and $61,500 and $55,440 in proposed fines, respectively.[24] The case was closed in February, 2012, after an Administrative Law Judge sustained 7 of the Serious citations against DuPont and a fine of $49,000.[25]

Related Articles: Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces

Danger Osha violators600px.jpg

Key Articles

PR Watch Series on OSHA Violators


Other Resources

Violation Tracker
Discover Which Corporations are the Biggest Violators of Environmental, Health and Safety Laws in the United States
Violation Tracker is the first national search engine on corporate misconduct covering environmental, health, and safety cases initiated by 13 federal regulatory agencies. Violation Tracker is produced by the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First. Click here to access Violation Tracker.

Political Activities


DuPont spent $10,241,668 on direct lobbying in 2013, and 11 out of its 19 in-house lobbyists previously held government positions.[26] This is up from $4,877,684 in lobbying expenses in 2012.[27]

2013 DuPont Lobbying Data:[28]

Lobbying Firm Amount Reported Issue
DuPont Co. $10,241,668 Biotechnology issues; biofuels issues; the Farm Bill; bio-energy; nutrition; energy related tax provisions; invasive species and land use management; renewable energy; duty suspensions and Miscellaneous Tariffs Bills; energy and water appropriations; defense appropriation; Department of Education science; agriculture appropriations regarding nutrition and agriculture; Homeland Security appropriations; Commerce, Justice, and science appropriations; Surface Transportation Bill with rail related amendments; international chemical regulations; chemical weapons convention implementation; persistent organic pollutants; Montreal Protocol; chemical management (TSCA); confidential business information and protection of trade secrets; Safe Chemical Act; defense authorization; soldier protection issues; invasive species issues; energy efficiency; photovoltaics and renewable energy; natural gas; Renewable Fuel Standard; TSCA; Clean Air Act; FIFRA; land conservation; natural resources; Superfund and remediation; child obesity nutrition; food security; biotechnology; chemical plant security legislation; water security legislation; Fire Act and SAFER legislation; chemical safety; Chemical Facilities Antiterrorism Security Act; Federal Information Security Amendments Act; H.R. 624, Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act; H.R. 756, Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2013; S. 21, Cybersecurity and American Cyber Competitiveness Act of 2013; H.R. 1468 Secureit; corporate tax reform; international tax reform, including foreign tax credits, transfer pricing, intellectual property transfers, territorial tax systems, repatriation tax holiday, and patent boxes; research and experimentation tax credits, biomaterials tax credits, biofuels tax credits; S. 825, Job Creation Through Innovation Act; Cut Unjustified Tax Loopholes legislation, S. 2075; Master Limited Partnership Parity Act; Innovative Research and Competitiveness Act of 2012; Bring Jobs Home Act, S. 2884/H.R. 5542; H.R. 6353, Manufacturing American Innovation Act of 2012; H.R. 8, American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012; trade and environment; countervailing duties; climate legislation; intellectual property rights; agriculture trade; Trans Pacific Partnership regarding trade secret protections; FMLA; immigration reform regarding HIB and skilled worker visas; financial regulatory reform; end-users exception from margin requirements in derivatives transactions; Business Risk Mitigation and Price Stabilization Act of 2013, H.R. 634; Inter-Affiliate Swap Clarification Act, H.R. 677; GAO body armor study; Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Act Reauthorization; Bryne Justice Assistance Grant Program Reauthorization; Hazardous Material Transportation Program; rail competition issues; Surface Transportation Board and bill; Federal Railroad Administration and Rail Improvement Act implementation; Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards; conflict minerals; guest worker visas; Inter-Affiliate Swap Clarification Act, H.R. 677; S. 954, Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2013; H.R. 1947, Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013; Chemical Safety Improvement Act, S. 1009; H.R. 2708, U.S. Job Creation & Manufacturing Competitiveness Act; capital cost recovery; s. 1844, Military Retirement Restoration Act
McAllister & Quinn $6,000 Bulletproof Vest Partnership Act reauthorization
Glover Park Group $360,000 Competition in agriculture and Farm Bill legislation; pension legislation; cyber security; duty suspensions; biofuels; freight rail transportation; patent reform; GMO labeling
The Normandy Group $76,000 Bulletproof Vest Partnership Act reauthorization; monitor House and Senate bills regarding antitrust and competition policy issues in the agriculture/farm market; work on antitrust matters regarding agriculture industry; competition on genetically modified seeds
Van Scoyoc Associates $60,000 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, FY2014; monitor issues regarding housing; lead paint remediation; public law 113-6; Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, FY 2013; H.J.Res. 117, Continuing Appropriations Resolution, FY2013; monitor sequestration issues; H.J.Res. 59, Continuing Appropriations Resolution, FY2014;

2012 DuPont Lobbying Data:

Lobbying Firm Amount Reported Issue
Brockorny Group $20,000 (no issues given)
McAllister & Quinn $36,000 FY13 Commerce/Justice/Science Appropriations
Glover Park Group $60,000 Competition in agriculture and Farm Bill legislation.
Crawford & Mauro Law Firm $75,000 Agriculture consolidation and competition.
The Normandy Group $120,000 Monitor House and Senate bills regarding antitrust and competition policy issues in the Agriculture/Farm market. Work on Antitrust matters with regard to concentration in agriculture industry
Van Scoyoc Associates $30,000 Issues regarding Housing; and Lead Paint Remediation: Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, FY2013, Public Law 112-55, Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, FY2012.

In 2011, DuPont spent over $4.8 million in direct lobbying costs. Their lobbying efforts primarily focused on the federal laws related to competition in agriculture, the Farm Bill, and biotechnology. [29] Many DuPont lobbyists are have worked for the government, or other corporations, at some point in their career, including Linda Strachan who has worked for EPA, and the Deptartment of Agriculture in between stints at Monsanto. Lobbyists also include Alex Mistri who worked for the State Dept and Grant Leslie who worked for the Dept of Agriculture after working for Tom Daschle and Ken Salazar. [30]

Political Contributions

As of the first quarter of 2014, the DuPont Co. PAC had made $140,125 in political contributions to federal candidates.[31]

During the 2012 election cycle, DuPont made $364,981 in contributions to federal candidates.[32] Top recipients included Barack Obama (D), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Tom Carper (D-DE), Mitt Romney (R), and Tom Harkin (D-IA).

The DuPont Company Good Government Fund, a PAC, has raised $288,373 and spent $205,163 for 2012 elections, and its most significant contribution went to Pat Roberts, ranking member of the Senate Ag Committee.[33]

Overview & history

DuPont became the world’s largest seed company in 1999, after acquiring Pioneer Hi-Bred. It sells hybrid seeds principally for the global production of corn and soybeans. DuPont’s Agriculture & Nutrition segment also provides crop protection chemicals, soya (GMO soy) based food ingredients and food safety equipment. [34], [35]

E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company was founded in 1802 on the banks of the Brandywine River near Wilmington, Delaware by french chemist Éleuthère Irénée du Pont de Nemours. The company began life as a partnership in gunpowder and explosives. By 1811, it was the nation’s largest gunpowder manufacturer. By the time the company incorporated in 1902, it controlled 36% of the U.S. powder market. By 1905 it held a 75% share. DuPont alone was responsible for 56% of the national production of explosives. With $60 million in estimated assets, it was one of the country's largest corporations. In fact, DuPont became so dominant that the government initiated anti-trust proceedings in 1907. In 1912, the company was deemed a gunpowder monopoly and ordered to divest a substantial portion of its business. Despite the streamlining, DuPont still managed to supply 40% of all explosives used by Allied forces in World War 1 (1.5 billion lbs).

DuPont gradually diversified in the early 20th century. Experiments with a product known as guncotton, an early form of nitroglycerine, led to involvement in the textile industry. After World War 1, peacetime use of artificial fibres proved more profitable than explosives. In the 1920s DuPont acquired the rights to cellophane from a French company. DuPont researchers produced a moisture-proof cellophane, which transformed it from a decorative wrap to packaging for food and other products. Also in the 1920's, DuPont acquired General Motors and entered into a 50-50 joint venture with Standard Oil (now Exxon) to produce and market the lead additive in petrol (known as ethyl). The new company was called the Ethyl Corporation. Economically, the company’s most important discovery was Nylon. Nylon was originally created in 1930, by a polymer research group headed by Wallace H. Carothers. A large number of synthetic products followed, including Lucite (a clear, tough plastic resin), Teflon (resin used in non-stick cookware), Butacite PVB interlayer (plastic used in automotive safety glass).[36]

2nd World War: making a killing (again)

Over the course of the war, DuPont produced 4.5 billion pounds of explosives for the military. The company was heavily involved in weapon development; primarily plastic and other forms of explosives; gun and rocket propellants and chemical weapons. From 1941 to 1945, DuPont contributed to the Manhattan Project that produced the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. DuPont was the principal mass producer of plutonium in the US. The company designed, built and operated the world’s first plutonium production plant, at the request of the government. During the war, DuPont managed a 25 government plants, manufacturing mainly explosives, methanol, ammonia and neoprene rubber. DuPont profited immensely from the war, emerging with a cash fund exceeding $196 million dollars. [37], [38]

For a full corporate profile, see also Dupont De NeMours and Company.[39]

Global presence

Dupont has facilities in the following countries: North America - Canada, Mexico, United States; Latin America - Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela; Europe & Middle East - Abu Dhabi, Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dubai, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom; Africa - South Africa, Zimbabwe; Asia-Pacific - Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam [40]

Animal testing

Dupont does animal testing.

Facility information, progress reports & USDA-APHIS reports

For links to copies of a facility's U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-Animal Plant Health Inspection (APHIS) reports, other information and links, see also Stop Animal Experimentation NOW!: Facility Reports and Information. This site contains listings for all 50 states, links to biomedical research facilities in that state and PDF copies of government documents where facilities must report their animal usage. (Search: Wilmington, DE; Newark, DE.)

USDA AWA reports

As of May 26, 2009, the USDA began posting all inspection reports for animal breeders, dealers, exhibitors, handlers, research facilities and animal carriers by state. See also USDA Animal Welfare Inspection Reports.

Food safety and Agriculture issues

Global GMOs & herbicide market

The top biotechnology companies are Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta and Bayer. (Syngenta is a subsidiary of parent companies AstraZeneca and Novartis. Aventis' agribusiness division was bought out by Bayer.) They account for almost 100% of the genetically engineered seed and 60% of the global pesticide market. Thanks to recent acquisitions, they now own 23% of the commercial seed market. In 1999, almost 80% of total global transgenic acreage was planted in GMO (genetically modefied organism) soy, corn, cotton and canola. Until then, farmers could spray herbicides before planting, but not after, as herbicides would kill the intended crop. The other 20% of genetically modified acreage is planted with crops that produce pesticides. Monsanto’s "New Leaf" potato kills potato beetles, but is itself registered as a pesticide with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The five largest biotech companies in the world are also the five largest herbicide companies. GMOs ensure a continuous and ever-expanding market for their agrochemicals. [41]

Under current policy, the government provides large subsidies to farmers to produce grains, in particularly corn and soybeans. Livestock producers use corn and soy as a base for animal feed as they are protein rich and fatten up the animals. They are also cheap (due to government subsidies.) Livestock consumes 47% of the soy and 60% of the corn produced in the US. [42] See also Food and Drug Administration.

Environmental issues

Documents Contained at the Anti-Environmental Archives
Documents written by or referencing this person or organization are contained in the Anti-Environmental Archive, launched by Greenpeace on Earth Day, 2015. The archive contains 3,500 documents, some 27,000 pages, covering 350 organizations and individuals. The current archive includes mainly documents collected in the late 1980s through the early 2000s by The Clearinghouse on Environmental Advocacy and Research (CLEAR), an organization that tracked the rise of the so called "Wise Use" movement in the 1990s during the Clinton presidency. Access the index to the Anti-Environmental Archives here.

In March 2002 then-West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Andy Gallagher drafted a media release to inform residents in Wood County, West Virginia, that the toxic chemical C8 (also known as PFOA) was in air emissions from DuPont's Parkersburg plant. In a deposition as part of a class action suit by residents Gallagher stated that Dee Ann Staats, a toxicologist working as the departments' science adviser, insisted that all statements relating to C8 emissions were to be vetted by DuPont.

Gallagher's testimony, obtained from the federal Environment Protection Agency under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal when Gallagher issued the statement without the approval of Staats or the company, DuPont went all out to kill the release. A DuPont PR official, Dawn Jackson, contacted Ann Bradley, a lawyer with Spilman Thomas & Battle who represent DuPont. After lobbying from the company, Gallagher withdrew the media release.[43]

Air Pollution

DuPont ranked number one in the Political Economy Research Institute's top 100 air polluters in the U.S. for 2002.[44]

Water Pollution

In December 2011, a three-person team of scientists said they found a "probable link" between C8 and high blood pressure among pregnant women. It was the first major conclusions of a six-year study of the DuPont Co. chemical, part of a class-action lawsuit settlement between DuPont and Mid-Ohio Valley residents whose water was contaminated with C8 by DuPont's nearby Washington Works plant. Panel members said evidence they reviewed was "insufficient" to conclude a probable link between C8 exposure and birth defects, preterm births, low birth weight, miscarriages and stillbirths, but the group said scientific studies show a probable link between chemical exposure and pregnancy-induced hypertension - i.e. high blood pressure among pregnant women who did not have the condition prior to pregnancy.

Panel member David Savitz of Brown University said the condition "is certainly a serious complication of pregnancy," which can threaten the health of the mother and the baby. When combined with leakage of protein into the urine, this high blood pressure is an especially serious condition called pre-eclampsia. Three of four analyses of Mid-Ohio Valley residents showed small elevations in pregnancy-induced hypertension or pre-eclampsia among women with the highest C8 exposures, the Science Panel said.[45]

Health & safety issues


Jan. 11, 2005 - "DuPont publicists invited reporters to the company's Washington Works plant south of Parkersburg (West Virginia) for a major announcement," reported the Charleston Gazette. DuPont claimed that a new study proved "there are no known human health effects associated with exposure to PFOA," also known as C8, a chemical used in Teflon and other nonstick products. DuPont promoted the study "as having the seal of approval from ... independent experts from various universities, including John Hopkins and Yale." But those experts disagreed with DuPont's characterization of the study. Professor David Wegman emailed, "We were unanimous in believing that the results do show a health effect," pointing to "significantly elevated values" for cholesterol among workers with PFOA exposure. Wegman's email and other correspondence were made public in late 2007 as part of a lawsuit over PFOA pollution in Salem County, N.J. The independent scientists supposedly advising DuPont warned the company that "we question the basis of DuPont's public expression asserting that PFOA does not pose a risk to health." [46]

See also Teflon issues. [47]

June 2005 - Rhode Island agreed to drop DuPont from its lawsuit against former makers of lead paint. As part of the deal, which likely saved the chemical company billions, DuPont agreed to donate $9 million to the Children's Health Forum, for efforts geared to avoid childhood exposure to lead. [48]

November 2005 - Former top DuPont scientist, Glenn Evers, revealed that the company covered up that it knew of the potential adverse health effects from using a persistent chemical on grease-resistant coatings on paper food packaging. He recounted how in the mid-1960s, the company negotiated with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Environmental Working Group noted, "a weak standard for how much of the paper chemical coating, which is applied to give packaging grease or liquid resistance, could contaminate food. The FDA at the time normally required a two-year study for chemicals it wasn't familiar with, but agreed to base DuPont's approval on a 90-day test with a 1,000-fold safety factor added." [49]

"Evers explains how that standard, which remains in effect today, was based on the premise that the chemical would leave the body quickly. He explained that as a company expert, he saw that the company knew, at least by 1981, that another class of perfluorinated chemicals, such as PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid), accumulates in people. It is unclear whether or not the company ever provided the FDA this information, but Evers explained how the company continued to worry about this information throughout the 1990s," noted an Environmental Working Group news release. [50]

August 2006 - the Associated Press reported that the Children's Health Forum was founded by Dr. Benjamin Hooks, a consultant hired by DuPont, "to help the company address childhood lead poisoning." The group was initially incorporated as a lobbying group, but later became a nonprofit charity. Most of the money raised by the group has come from DuPont. Several board members have ties to DuPont; executive director Olivia Morgan works for the PR firm Dewey Square Group, which counts DuPont among its clients. Yet, the Children's Health Forum group claimed to act independently of DuPont.

Clean government activists said that DuPont's settlement should have gone to the state. "The fact that DuPont now is going to have such control over this process does not sound right," said Robert Arruda of the Rhode Island group Operation Clean Government. [51]

Toxic waste

August 2008 - Governor Joe Manchin III of West Virginia filed a friend-of-the-court brief arguing that the State Supreme Court should review a $382 million judgment against the DuPont Company, as part of the largest civil penalty ever levied against the company. A jury in Harrison County, West Virginia, ordered DuPont to pay nearly $382 million to monitor nearly 8,000 residents in the area for signs of cancer, to clean up the site and pay punitive damages for dumping toxic arsenic, cadmium and lead in the vicinities of its local plant. Various documents prove that the governor met with the vice president of DuPont and one of the company’s lawyers to discuss the appeal, as well as with the company's chairman and chief executive, Charles O. Holliday Jr., on Nov. 20, 2007, less than a month after the original verdict. Shortly before the governor filed his brief, DuPont lawyers provided his office with two draft briefs that made many of the same arguments he later used in his brief, documents show.

"It was the first time a West Virginia governor had taken such action in a case in which the state was not a party, one expert said, and Mr. Manchin’s actions angered plaintiffs, who argued that the executive branch was inappropriately pressuring the judicial branch." [52]

Employee health & safety issues

USW unveils critical report at World Safety Congress

On September 20, 2006, United Steelworkers' (USW) officials unveiled a report analyzing DuPont's "abominable health and safety record" at the XVIIth World Congress on Safety and Health at Work in Orlando, Florida. The report documented violations and accidents that:

"establish a clear pattern of denial of corporate responsibility. When the harmful conditions that cause accidents exist, these catastrophes at DuPont plants become catastrophes for workers and the public."

The report discussed DuPont's safety program, DuPont STOP (from which the company earns over $100 million in revenues). STOP is "based on the theory that almost all injuries are caused by workers." According to Mike Wright, head of the USW Health, Safety and Environment Department:

"In contrast, the USW has tracked data on fatality investigations for 20 years. What we almost always find when we investigate catastrophic accidents, including fatalities, is that multiple root causes related to hazards and unsafe conditions, not multiple unsafe behaviors, cause the accident."

Other key findings in the report include:

  • Failure to report industrial accidents to OSHA
  • One of the "Dangerous Dozen" which put over 9 million people at risk
  • 20 Superfund sites and thousands of sick plaintiffs
  • Number one producer of toxic dioxins in the U.S.
  • Sued by EPA for withholding evidence of the potentially harmful Teflon-chemical, C8

According to Ken Test, Chair of the USW DuPont Council:

"When it comes to worker safety and protecting the environment, DuPont, does not 'Walk the Talk'. Many of our members and retirees suffer from their exposure to dangerous chemicals that they encountered on the job during their years of loyal service. In fact, I could not think of a more inappropriate corporation to profit off the message of safety. These workers were asked to trust DuPont and now regret it." [53]

Steel workers protest DuPont safety award

On September 23, 2006 USW members and others in the labor movement the safety award given by the National Safety Council (NSC) to DuPont at its annual conference in Orlando, Florida. The NSC awards and annual Green Cross to an organization that has "distinguished itself over a period of years for outstanding achievement in workplace and off-the-job safety and health programs, community service, environmental stewardship, and responsible citizenship." According to Ken Test:

"We condemn the fact that DuPont received this award, since it appears this company's actions contradict the NSC's criteria."

USW members clad in orange t-shirts, proclaimed DuPont puts "U.S. Jobs and the Environment at Risk," in a protest directly after the release of a published report connecting health, safety violations and accidents to the DuPont STOP behavior-based safety program. USW research has shown that multiple root causes related to hazards and unsafe conditions, not multiple unsafe behaviors, cause accidents. According to DuPont worker Jim Rowe:

"We felt it was vital that members of the health and safety community understood the truth regarding DuPont's safety record. What this company sells to other corporations and what actually happens at DuPont plants are two completely different things. In fact, we have found many safety folks here at the conference have been sympathetic to our message."

The USW represents 1,800 workers at six DuPont facilities. [54]


In October of 2005, DuPont and Environmental Defense (ED) announced a "partnership" to:

"define a systematic and disciplined process that can be used to identify, manage and reduce potential health, safety and environmental risks of nano-scale materials across all lifecycle stages. This framework will then be pilot-tested on specific nano-scale materials or applications of commercial interest to DuPont." [55]

Marketing traditional products with 'Nano' label

A promotional web page on Teflon by Invista, a Koch Industries subsidiary, apparently indicates otherwise.

"Teflon® works on the nano scale," it boasts. "Teflon® leather protector provides an invisible molecular barrier which lowers the critical surface tension of natural leather and suede. This protects leather and suede by repelling water and oil-based liquids as well as dry soil," the website states. [56]

However, in an email to SourceWatch a DuPont toxicologist, David B. Warheit, said that the Teflon leather protector is "not a nanotechnology product". [57]

See also Environmental Defense Dances With DuPont On Nanotechnology.

Personel & board

Key executives

Board members


DuPont Building
1007 Market Street
Wilmington, DE 19898

Phone: 302-774-1000

Fax: 302-999-4399

Toll Free: 800-441-7515

Web address:

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles

Corporate Rap Sheet

External Articles

External Resources


  • Gerard Colby Du Pont Dynasty: Behind the Nylon Curtain, Lyle Stuart, 1984, ISBN 978-0818403521


  1. Pesticide Action Network of North America, Chemical Cartel, organizational website, accessed July 2012
  2. ETC Group, Who Owns Nature? Corporate Power and the Final Frontier in the Commodification of Life, international civil society organizational report, November 2008, accessed July 2012
  3. Company at a Glance, Dupont, accessed February 2010
  4. Company Description: E. I. Du Pont De Nemours And Company, Hoovers, accessed February 2010
  5. Key E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company Financials, Hoovers, accessed January 2011
  6. Du Pont De Meours and Company SEC Filing, fiscal year 2011. Accessed June 19th, 2012.
  7. Clearinghouse on Environmental Advocacy and Research, project of the Environmental Working Group, Information on American Legislative Exchange Council, archived organizational profile, archived by Wayback Machine December 2, 2000, accessed August 19, 2011
  8. Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, "Corporations and Trades Associations that Fund ALEC," Corporate America's Trojan Horse in the States: The Untold Story Behind the American Legislative Exchange Council, online report, 2003
  9. President Barack Obama, "Executive Order --Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces," government document, July 31, 2014.
  10. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Inspection Documentation," government documentation, accessed October 2015.
  11. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Search results: Dupont," inspection case records, database accessed January 2016.
  12. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Search results: E.I. Du Pont De Nemours," inspection case records, database accessed January 2016.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Nina Satija and Jim Malewitz, "OSHA Chief: Fine for Deadly Leak "Petty Cash" for DuPont," The Texas Tribune, May 23, 2015,
  14. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Inspection: 1008319.015 - E.I. Dupont De Nemours & Co., Inc.," inspection case record, database accessed January 2016.
  15. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Proper protections could have saved four DuPont workers killed by gas: Federal safety investigators find serious failures in 2014 toxic release in Texas," OSHA Regional News Release: Region 6, May 14, 2015, accessed January, 2016.
  16. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Inspection: 1019650.015 - E.I. Dupont De Nemours & Co., Inc.," inspection case record, database accessed January 2016.
  17. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Inspection: 977332.015 - E.I. Dupont Denemours Incorporated Chambers Works," inspection case record, database accessed January 2016.
  18. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "DuPont's chemical safety systems inadequate at Deepwater, New Jersey, plant: OSHA cites company for failure to protect workers from hazardous materials," OSHA Regional News Release: Region 2, December 1, 2014, accessed January 2016.
  19. U.S. Chemical Safety Board, "CSB Investigation Finds Three DuPont Accidents in Belle, West Virginia, Resulted from Numerous Safety Deficiencies including Lack of Safe Equipment Design, Ineffective Mechanical Integrity Programs, and Incomplete Investigations of Previous Near Misses ," press release, July 7, 2011.
  20. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "US Labor Department's OSHA cites DuPont for exposing workers to hazardous chemicals following a fatal accident at the Belle, W.Va., plant," OSHA Regional News Release: Region 3, July 19, 2010, accessed January 2016.
  21. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Inspection: 313371924 - E.I. Dupont De Nemours & Company - Belle Plant," inspection case record, database accessed January 2016.
  22. U.S. Chemical Safety Board, "Hot Work: Hidden Hazards," safety video, April 20, 2012, accessed January, 2016.
  23. U.S. Chemical Safety Board, "CSB Releases New Safety Video on Fatal Hot Work Explosion at DuPont Facility in Buffalo; “Hot Work: Hidden Hazards” Shows Danger of Inadequate Gas Monitoring Safety Video Follows Release of the CSB’s Investigative Report ," press release, April 20, 2012.
  24. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "US Labor Department's OSHA cites DuPont's Yerkes Plant and Buffalo contractor following fatal explosion for welding, hazardous energy violations," press release, May 5, 2011.
  25. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Inspection: Inspection: 315004101 - Yerkes Plant E.I. Dupont De Nemours Company," inspection case record, database accessed January 2016.
  26. Center for Responsive Politics, "DuPont Profile for 2014 Election Cycle," political influence database, accessed May 8, 2014.
  27. Center for Responsive Politics, DuPont Profile for 2012 Election Cycle, political influence database, accessed May 29, 2014.
  28. Center for Responsive Politics, DuPont Lobbying Summary, political influence database, accessed May 28, 2014.
  29. Opensecrets: [ Lobbying Spending Report: DuPont Co.
  30. Opensecrets: [ Lobbying Spending Database: Lobbyists: DuPont Co. Accessed July 19th, 2012
  31. Center for Responsive Politics, "Profile for 2014 Election Cycle,", accessed May 8, 2014.
  32. Center for Responsive Politics, "Profile for 2012 Election Cycle,", accessed May 8, 2014.
  33. Opensecrets: [ PACs Spending Profile: DuPont Co. Accessed July 19th, 2012
  34. David Barboza DuPont Buying Top Supplier of Farm Seed, New York Times, March 16, 1999
  35. The Five Gene Giants are Becoming Four: DuPont and Monsanto: "Living in Sinergy"?, ETC Group News Release, April 9th, 2002
  36. P.J. Pederson Directory of Company Histories: E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Company, St. James Press, London, 1999; Chapter 26, pg 123-127
  37. Manhattan Project: 1940, DuPont Heritage, accessed February 2010
  38. Peter Hayes Industry and Ideology: IG Farben in the Nazi Era, Cambridge University Press, 2nd ed., November 2000
  39. Dupont De NeMours and Company: A Corporate Profile, Corporate Watch, November 2002
  40. Our Company: Directory of Worldwide Locations, accessed February 2010
  41. John Robbins Genetic Engineering, Part I, The Food Revolution, accessed December 2009
  42. The Issues: Corn and Soy, Sustainable Table, accessed December 2009
  43. Ken Ward Jr. DuPont lawyer edited DEP's C8 media releases, Charleston, Gazette-Mail, July 2, 2005
  44. The Toxic 100: Top Corporate Air Polluters in the United States, Political Economy Research Institute, 2002
  45. Ken Ward Jr., "Panel links C8 to high blood pressure in pregnancy" Charleston Gazette, Dec. 5, 2011.
  46. Ken Ward Jr. DuPont lawyer edited DEP's C8 media releases, Charleston, Gazette-Mail, July 2, 2005
  47. Gary Guralny, Shawn Gilchrist Teflon Issues,DuPont Solidarity Council, November 2006
  48. Michelle R. Smith Group to get $9 million in DuPont deal has close ties to company, Associated Press, August 3, 2006
  49. Elizabeth Weise Engineer: DuPont hid facts about paper coating", USA Today, November 16, 2005
  50. Former DuPont Top Expert: Company Knew, Covered Up Pollution of Americans' Blood for 18 Years , Environmental Working Group News Release, November 16, 2005.
  51. Michelle R. Smith Group to get $9 million in DuPont deal has close ties to company, Associated Press, August 3, 2006
  52. Ian Urbina Files Show Governor Intervened With Court in favor of DuPont, New York Times, August 13, 2008
  53. United Steelworkers Union Unveils Report Critical of DuPont’s Safety Record at World Safety Congress, United Steel Workers, September 20, 2005
  54. Steelworkers Protest DuPont Award at National Safety Congress, PR Newswire, September 23, 2006
  55. Sustainability in Action: Voluntary Initiatives and Partnerships, DuPont, accessed February 2010
  56. Teflon ® Leather protector: Teflon® works on the nano scale", Invista, accessed November 2005
  57. e-mail to Bob Burton from David B. Warheit, January 30, 2005
  58. Our Company: Meet the Executives, DuPont, accessed February 2010
  59. Board of Directors, DuPont, accessed February 2010