Look, we're all for drugs by mail. We get our drugs and we don't have to see other human beings. It's win-win. But outright pushing "the first one's free" on folks fighting depression seems a little morally shaky. More worrying: Although medical professionals were involved, this was ultimately a campaign by sales folks, so they didn't exactly vet their target group thoroughly. That's how 30-day supplies of prescription drugs ended up in the hands of a 16-year-old who had never been diagnosed with depression, and another patient who suffered violent psychotic reactions ... to Prozac.
DuPont Poisons Everybody For A Very Long Time
Emily Kassie / Huffington Post
Perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA if you're nasty, is commonly used in the creation of Teflon nonstick pans, Gore-Tex, and other slippery, waterproof surfaces. It's the Taco Bell of chemicals -- cheap, convenient, and extremely bad to ingest. It can give you cancer. It can give your ass cancer.
DuPont calls that chemical C8, and they rubbed it in its workers' faces for years and years.
DuPont first started dabbling in the Teflon business in 1953, when they purchased large amounts of PFOA from the 3M Company. DuPont managed to shoot itself in the foot almost instantly. Although 3M had provided strict rules on how to dispose of the stuff (incinerate it or treat it as chemical waste), DuPont somehow managed to pump hundreds of thousands of pounds of C8 straight into the Ohio River, and bury a further 7,100 tons of it in unlined sludge pits. Surely this happened via an elaborate, almost wacky series of accidents. Right, guys?
Tony Kemp / The New York Times
We're sure the 99.7 percent of Americans testing positive of C8 in their blood are busting a gut right now.
DuPont didn't take 3M's word that C8 was unsafe; they initiated four decades' worth of tests to confirm it. In 1961, their scientists discovered the chemical increased the size of the liver in rats, rabbits, and dogs. In the 1970s, they noted that the workers in their Washington Works premises had high concentrations of C8 in their blood. In 1981, they discovered that the chemical could cause birth defects in rats. At that point, they went full supervillain and moved to human testing. Seven pregnant employees in DuPont's Teflon division were monitored by corporate scientists. Two of them gave birth to babies with eye defects.
Maddie McGarvey / The Intercept / Investigative Fund
We're going to conclude "risk un-averted."
In 1984, DuPont also noticed that they were spreading C8 a lot further than they had assumed. The fine powder was present well beyond their premises' property line, and was also present in the water supply of the surrounding areas. By the 1990s, they had further discerned that C8 causes all kinds of unpleasant cancers (not that there are pleasant cancers, but balls and prostate cancer are the cancers even other cancers don't want to hang with).
But Teflon was a billion-dollar business for DuPont, and funnily enough, it turns out that "a lot" is the exact amount of money it takes for a company to stop giving a shit about human life.
Or cattle life. Or life at all, really.
In 2012, a seven-year study by third-party scientists -- jointly appointed by DuPont and the plaintiffs of their arguably "too many" lawsuits -- confirmed that C8 causes a whole host of human health concerns, ranging from cancer to high cholesterol, pregnancy complications, thyroid disease, and ulcerative colitis. It was already too late for many of the workers, but at least DuPont looks like they're getting what's coming to them. They're currently facing 3,534 multi-million-dollar lawsuits, and it's going to be pretty hard to spin "we carefully and willfully poisoned, like, everybody we could find" as a good thing even once. It's doubtful they'll manage it several thousand times in a row.
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For more reasons to never trust big companies, check out The 5 Shadiest Crimes Ever Pulled Off By Famous Corporations and 16 Diabolical Acts Of Evil By Famous Corporations.
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