‘A good neighborly relationship is important,’ says Chemours, but neighbors are angry Yesterday, 18:44 in Binnenland Almost 3000 local residents in Dordrecht filed a complaint against the management of the chemical company today.

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Chemiefabriek Chemours on the Beneden Merwede
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“The residential areas De Staart and Sliedrecht-Oost almost border the fences of the company site,” writes Chemours (formerly DuPont) chemical factory on the company website. “Our responsibility does not stop at the fences” and a good neighborly relationship is therefore important, is the purport.

Who opens the website, reads it immediately: the company is a “responsible producer”, for both the environment and the immediate vicinity.

But not everyone thinks that way. Almost 3000 local residents in and around Dordrecht filed a complaint against the management of Chemours today. They accuse Chemours of deliberately and unlawfully releasing pfoa and GenX into their habitats for decades. This has created a danger to public health and even to life, says the group.


The chemical plant in Dordrecht was opened in 1962 as part of DuPont. A part of DuPont, including the factory in Dordrecht, continued as Chemours in 2015. With 500 employees, the Dordt site is the largest Chemours factory in Europe. The company has 35 locations worldwide where chemicals are produced.

Fluoropolymers are produced in the Dordrecht factory. From computer chips to the protective layer on touchscreens or as a coating for cables: the products are used everywhere. Some fabrics are better known by their brand name. Such as Teflon, which is widely used as a non-stick coating in pans.

In 2012, Chemours switched from pfoa to GenX. It is now illegal to use pfoa for consumer products. But GenX has also been on the list of Substances of Very High Concern of the European Chemicals Agency since 2019. The RIVM calls the substance possibly carcinogenic. Chemours is therefore only allowed to emit the substance to a very limited extent.

In June, research program Zembla revealed that Chemours had known for decades about the health risks for personnel and the environment of the use of pfas. It caused new unrest and anger among local residents.

Chemours has been speaking to local residents in the Neighborhood Council since 2017. “The goal is to create mutual understanding and a bond of trust,” Chemours writes. But the same council lost confidence in the cooperation in July. There is nothing to read about this on the Chemours website (yet).

In a report on the last consultation between the council, DuPont and Chemours, the Burenraad states that emotions ran high among all parties after the Burenraad published a critical open letter after the Zembla broadcast. The Neighborhood Council said it was shocked by the revelations. Chemours accuses the Neighbors Council of appearing “activist”.

Film adaptations

The companies also became embroiled in scandals in other countries. 25 years ago, a US farmer filed a lawsuit against DuPont because a local factory dumped water near his land, causing his cows to die one by one.

In 2018, the documentary The Devil We Know about the health risks of pfoa was released, followed in 2019 by the film Dark Waters about a legal battle with DuPont.

United States settlement

Chemours, DuPont and another chemical company reached a preliminary settlement in the US in June. Together they pay more than a billion dollars. The lawsuit was filed because the companies contaminated drinking water across the country with “eternal” chemicals associated with serious illnesses.

The settlement does not mean the end of charges against the company in the US. Not all pending charges are covered by the settlement. In addition, new lawsuits have since been filed.

Last week it was announced that Chemours also wanted to reach a settlement in the Netherlands. The chemical company tried to settle several million euros in a case in which the municipalities of Dordrecht, Sliedrecht, Papendrecht and Molenlanden held the company responsible for pfas damage.

That settlement was not reached and the verdict in the case of the municipalities is expected at the end of this month.

  • Local residents report criminal offenses committed by Chemours
  • ‘Zero out of the pipe’ is what it sounds like at a hearing about Chemours discharges
  • Zembla: Chemours has known about the health risks of pfas for decades
  • Interior

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