Manufacturing's Winner And Loser: Volunteering For Flint; Chemicals Causing Cancer

This week's winner sent maintenance and repair to the rescue by volunteering in the Flint water crisis; this week's loser is facing thousands of lawsuits due to chemical pollution.

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This week's winner sent maintenance and repair to the rescue by volunteering in the Flint water crisis; this week's loser is facing thousands of lawsuits due to chemical pollution.

Winner

In response to Flint, Michigan’s lead-contaminated drinking water emergency, 300 union plumbers from all around the country came to the city to install new faucets and water filters at no cost. Plumbers succesfully replaced the fixtures and filters in 800 homes Saturday alone. 

The United Association was responsible for coordinating the effort while the Plumbing Manufacturers International donated the fixtures. Many residents' faucets were too old to accomodate the state-provided filters. 

Several months ago, city officials decided to switch its water system without using corrosion controls. As a result, high levels of lead have made its way into the city's water sources, creating several severe health issues for residents and children who consume it. 

"PMI is proud to join with its members and the UA to put our vision of safe, responsible plumbing into action," Barbara C. Higgens, PMI CEO and executive director, said in a statement. "We appreciate the generosity of our members, the UA plumbers, IAPMO and everyone else that is helping to assure safe drinking water for the residents of the Flint area."

Loser

DuPont is facing thousands of pending personal injury lawsuits for decades of chemical pollution during Teflon Production. 

An Ohio federal judge outlined a schedule of 40 lawsuits per year beginning April 2017. U.S. District Judge Edmund Sargus hoped the schedule would encourage resolving the lawsuits in advance, saying "people shouldn't have to wait 10 years for a trial." 

The lawsuits focus on DuPont's use of C8, a primary chemical in Teflon coating, at a now-shuttered Washington Works plant in West Virginia. A trial last year awarded $1.6 million to a plaintiff with kidney cancer. 

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