UN human rights experts express alarm over PFAS pollution in North Carolina

A new investigation by human rights experts appointed by the United Nations has expressed alarm at evidence of pollution from a North Carolina PFAS manufacturing plant, describing it as “alleged human rights violations and abuses against residents”.

The ongoing PFAS crisis in North Carolina has been linked to a Fayetteville Works plant operated by Chemours, a chemical giant that was spun off from DuPont in 2015.

Many public health officials and residents suspect the “forever chemical” pollution is behind widespread health problems in the region.

PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a class of about 14,000 chemicals often used to make products resistant to water, stains and heat. They are called “forever chemicals” because they are virtually indestructible, and are linked to cancer, liver problems, thyroid issues, birth defects, kidney disease, decreased immunity and other serious health problems.

The EPA recently paused the shipments of PFAS waste from the Netherlands to Fayetteville, and the North Carolina department of environmental quality is considering a Chemours proposal to expand PFAS production at the plant.