Briefing Room


Moritz alum Rob Bilott ’90 featured in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette warning of new, harmful chemicals

November 24, 2020 | Alumni

Moritz alum Rob Bilott (’90), the lawyer whose battle with the DuPont chemical company was recently brought to the big screen in the movie Dark Waters, is warning people about a new chemical threat.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote, “PFAS, short for per- or polyfluoroalkyl substances, were invented by the 3M Co. and used by DuPont in 1951 to produce the nonstick Teflon frying pan. In subsequent decades, PFAS in various related forms were used to make water-, grease- and stain-repellent coatings for a wide array of consumer and industrial products.”

“They don’t break down. They bioaccumulate in polar bears and humans. Babies are pre-polluted at birth,” Bilott said. “PFAS have caused unprecedented worldwide pollution with serious public health impacts.”

“It’s a whole group of replacement chemicals, and for regulatory agencies it’s like playing whack-a-mole,” Bilott added. “The regulators need to address GenX as a class of chemicals because it’s impossible for the EPA to keep track of and regulate every one.”