FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – A new documentary aims to educate the public about the health impacts on a chemical produced in Cumberland County that is has a variety of commercial uses.
GenX is a compound found in non-stick cookware, firefighting foam, and food packaging. It’s manufactured at the Chemours plant in Cumberland County. Very little is known about its effects on humans and animals.
“This problem is something that we are now realizing is enormous but has been happening for so long it’s out of control,” said Elijah Yetter-Bowman.
He and his team at Ethereal Films want people to understand how it’s gotten to this point and what it’s going to take to fix it.
While there’s still a lot to learn about GenX, it’s concerning enough that when it was found in well water of residents near the Chemours plant, they were told not to drink it.
The documentary, “GenX: A Chemical Cocktail,” delves into what the chemical means for people’s health and the day-to-day effect it has. Yetter-Bowman isn’t just a filmmaker — he majored in philosophy and minored in chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“People are up in arms because, most immediately, their health is at stake,” He said. “But also, their family’s health is at stake (and) their homes are at stake. If you find out that your well that your family’s been living on is poisoned beyond repair, well, not only can you not leave, because who’s going to want to live there, but what do you do now?”
For years, people had no idea that GenX existed, much less the potential dangers. Chemours is a spin-off of Dupont.
“That’s a disturbing fact to think that, you know, my entire life, I’ve had these chemicals in my blood. My mom has had these chemicals. They passed through the umbilical cord into me, but I never had a say in it,” said Yetter-Bowman.
Now he said people will have a say — one that, with the documentary’s help, that is much more informed.
“What we’ve uncovered is it’s not a simple bad guy, good guy story right. There are plenty of people at Dupont that didn’t know this was happening or had no say in it, and now it’s such a big problem. No one person can solve it,” he said.
Click here for more information on the documentary.
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