The inspiration for Mark Ruffalo’s character in the film Dark Waters, Rob Bilott believes the battle to protect polluted communities is far from over
A conversation with the lawyer Rob Bilott is like a slap across the face. It doesn’t feel good. But it does get your attention.
According to Bilott, we face a “unique health threat” from a class of industrial chemicals that most Americans have never heard of. These chemicals are widely used in everyday products such as non-stick cookware and stain-resistant fabrics, even though science shows they are linked to a range of deadly diseases, reproductive problems and other ailments. Powerful corporations are fighting to protect the use of these profitable chemical compounds, Bilott says, and US regulators are doing next to nothing to stop them.
It’s worth listening to what Bilott has to say. He has spent the last two decades advocating for people in West Virginia and Ohio whose water was contaminated with one of these toxins, a chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA.