July 20, 2005-- Posted at 4:25 PM CDT
A $5 billion class-action lawsuit is being filed against DuPont for failing to warn consumers of the dangers of an ingredient allegedly contained in Teflon, lawyers said Tuesday.
Two Florida law firms told the Associated Press they were filing the federal suit on behalf of 14 people in eight states who bought cookware coated with non-stick Teflon. It reportedly is made with a chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which earlier this month the U.S. Environmental Protection agency said is "likely" to cause cancer in people, the AP said.
The plaintiffs contend DuPont has known for more than 20 years that the product caused cancer in lab animals, according to the AP. A company spokesman said federal tests "show that nonstick coatings used for cookware sold under the Teflon brand, do not contain any PFOA." Spokesman Cliff Webb added that DuPont would "vigorously defend itself against the allegations."
PFOA is used in other DuPont products, including automobile fuel systems, firefighting foam, phone cables, computer chips, and clothing, the wire service reported.
Teflon has been used since World War II and DuPont has sold or licensed more than $40 billion in Teflon cookware, the AP reported.