Zuid-Holland province sues DuPont over formaldehyde leak

DuPont water tower in Dordrecht (Photo: Willemjans/Wikimedia Commons)DuPont water tower in Dordrecht (Photo: Willemjans/Wikimedia Commons)

The province of Zuid-Holland pressed charges against chemical company DuPont in Dordrecht due to a large amount of toxic substance formaldehyde leaking into the environment last month, RTV Rijnmond reports based on an email conversation with the province.

Formaldehyde, used in making hard plastic, is a carcinogenic and on the list of "very concerning substances". According to RTV Rijnmond, between August 10th and 12th, some 2,730 kilograms of this substance leaked into the air through a chimney. An investigation by DuPont itself revealed last week that the leak was much larger than expected.

"This information gives a different assessment of the seriousness of the incident", the province said in an email to the broadcaster. "Investigation will show whether a crime was committed." DuPont hired an external agency to investigate the threat to the environment. The report is expected in about two weeks. The province is still deliberating on whether or not to launch its own investigation.

DuPont is also currently under investigation for exposing its employees to toxic substances C8 and DMAc, which may have caused major health problems in a number of employees and former employees.