450 to get blood tests in Dordrecht chemical plant investigation

The Chemours plant in Dordrecht. Photo: Chemours.com
The Chemours plant in Dordrecht. Photo: Chemours.com

Some 450 people living near the former Dupont chemicals plant in Dordrecht have been invited to undergo a blood test following claims that they may have been exposed to cancer causing chemicals.

The aim of the blood tests, which are being carried out by the local health board, is to establish if a representative sample of people have the carcinogen C8 in their blood and at what levels, local broadcaster RTV Rijnmond said.

The blood tests follows probes by the public health institute RIVM and social affairs ministry into claims that the use of chemicals has caused health problems in both staff and locals. The public prosecution department has also launched an investigation.

The RIVM said in March that people living close to the plant were for years exposed to higher than permitted levels of a chemical used in the making of Teflon. Perfluorooctanoic acid, also known as C8, is classed as ‘potentially carcenogenic’ to humans by the World Health Organisation.


In its report, the RIVM said locals were exposed to higher than legal amounts of the compound via the atmosphere from 1970 to 2002 but not via drinking water.

‘In the worst case scenario, the norm was broken for 25 years,’ the RIVM is quoted as saying.

In 2002 emissions from the plant fell to below agreed norms and in 2012, C8 was replaced in Telfon production by another less harmful chemical known as GenX. However, that chemical too is said to cause health problems.

The plant has since been taken over by Chemours.

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