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Publisher's Summary

“For Erin Brockovich fans, a David vs. Goliath tale with a twist” (The New York Times Book Review) - the incredible true story of the lawyer who spent two decades building a case against DuPont for its use of the hazardous chemical PFOA, uncovering the worst case of environmental contamination in history - affecting virtually every person on the planet - and the conspiracy that kept it a secret for 60 years. The story that inspired Dark Waters, the major motion picture from Focus Features starring Mark Ruffalo and Anne Hathaway, directed by Todd Haynes.

It's 1998: Rob Bilott is a young lawyer specializing in helping big corporations stay on the right side of environmental laws and regulations. Then he gets a phone call from a West Virginia farmer named Earl Tennant, who is convinced the creek on his property is being poisoned by runoff from a neighboring DuPont landfill, causing his cattle and the surrounding wildlife to die in hideous ways. Earl hasn’t even been able to get a water sample tested by any state or federal regulatory agency or find a local lawyer willing to take the case. As soon as they hear the name DuPont - the area’s largest employer - they shut him down. Once Rob sees the thick, foamy water that bubbles into the creek, the gruesome effects it seems to have on livestock, and the disturbing frequency of cancer and other health problems in the area, he’s persuaded to fight against the type of corporation his firm routinely represents. After intense legal wrangling, Rob ultimately gains access to hundreds of thousands of pages of DuPont documents, some of them 50 years old, that reveal the company has been holding onto decades of studies proving the harmful effects of a chemical called PFOA, used in making Teflon. PFOA is often called a “forever chemical”, because once in the environment, it does not break down or degrade for millions of years, contaminating the planet forever. The case of one farmer soon spawns a class-action suit on behalf of 70,000 residents - and the shocking realization that virtually every person on the planet has been exposed to PFOA and carries the chemical in his or her blood. What emerges is a riveting legal drama “in the grand tradition of Jonathan Harr’s A Civil Action” (Booklist, starred review) about malice and manipulation, the failings of environmental regulation; and one lawyer’s 20-year struggle to expose the truth about this previously unknown - and still unregulated - chemical that we all have inside us. 

©2019 Robert Bilott (P)2019 Simon & Schuster Audio

What listeners say about Exposure

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Tenacious

I work in this field and found this book to be excellent. It reinforced the adage that the most dangerous lie is the one you tell yourself and believe it. It take a lot of courage to swim upstream when group decisions are being made. Doing the right thing should not be so darn hard in companies like DuPont.

7 people found this helpful

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Riveting!!

A frightening story, well told. Yet another tragic story of greedy corporations and their leaders victimizing innocent people in service of the almighty dollar.
Excellent info for the consumer. Makes me look at every product of modern life in a different light. Already have replaced my Glide floss with a non-pfas brand. And am going to bring my own containers any time I do takeout food. I’m already using cloth net bags for my fresh produce. Who knows if those filmy plastic bags also contain pfas!!

5 people found this helpful

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Well worth the time to read/listen to

Well written and informative tale about the poisoning of the environment. I first heard about thus book in a segment of the American Public Media business podcast Marketplace. It sounded interesting and proved to be a great read. Big business and big money are corrupting everything they touch and the actions of I.E.DuPont are shameful. As the author states we are all walking toxic waste dumps due to the exposure to PFOA.

4 people found this helpful

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Unbelievable book that every American should read

While I first heard about this story when the New York Times Magazine article came out, I was completely floored by the tenacious work of Rob and the deplorable behavior from DuPont. This is book is so well written and thorough. While detailed it's not overly technical that you aren't able to understand.

It was so incredibly interesting to see all the things that happened to build the case and to get to this point. I'm so proud of Rob and the law firm that stood behind him even if he felt pressure. It's incredible to think how long it took to get to this point and the ways that DuPont put profit over people.

Keep up the fight -- I have a feeling you have a lot more supporters than you'll ever know. #notallheroswearcapes

3 people found this helpful

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True Heros

This is an excellent David vs Goliath story about a true hero, Rob Bilott, who made many sacrifices in his personal life and financially to fight Dupont who knowingly dumped and spewed toxic waste (PFOA/C8) into the environment for decades. Earl Tennett who brought the case to Rob Bilott is also a true hero.

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  • Jo
  • 11-28-20

this book is amazing!

I am so grateful for the perseverance of everyone involved. This story is so important to share!

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Begging producers

DO YOUR DAMNED D.D!!!

Spend time and effort searching for narrators who can be authentic with accents and dialects.

Future listeners be forewarned:
This narrator, his attempts at local accents and dialect is like fingernails on a chalk board grating.

Add to that, he made Mr. Tennant sound like a toothless,backwoods ignoramus and it was frankly an insult to the man and the person Mr. Bilott was so passionate about defending (along with so many others).

I gave up listening because of the narration and purchased the hard copy.

The story absolutely warrants five stars, but only if read from hard copy.

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Devastating corporate greed

This excellent book lays out in painstaking detail the lengths to which a large corporation will go to protect their profits and reputation above all else. The health and welfare of the human and animal population, and the environment at large, is of little concern. It is shocking to think that the same company goes to great lengths to build "community citizenship and partneership" and goodwill, while at the same time continues to dump chemicals that they know cause cancers and other diseases into our waterways. The level of deceitfulness and two-facedness knows no bounds.

Just like the book "Amity and Prosperity," where the oil & gas fracking industry contaminated an entire town with their injection chemicals, here is another example of company not held accountable for their actions, and pointing to every other conceivable cause for the incidences of cancers, diseases, and birth defects in the surrounding communities. When is the government going to act against these corporate polluters??

Read this book and if nothing else, boycot DuPont and its products. We vote with our dollars!

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Really Interesting

This book does a good job of mixing the human side of the story with the law and science behind the fight over PFOA or PFAS. This is something I expect to run into in my career so it was really relevant to me.

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The law has no teeth, certainly not in the US.

Corporations are definitely persons, and DuPont definitely has patience, cunning and "malice" (as defined in legal terms). This real life story of Robert Bilott JD, illustrates how much tenacity and persistence is needed to make even the smallest dent in DuPont's bottom line. Most certainly, Mr. Bilott has succeeded in ways few could have. I really enjoyed his book, while becoming increasingly disappointed in our legislators, the EPA and the legal system.

The perfluoro carbon contaminant is dead ("C8"). Long live the perfluoro carbon contaminant ("C6").

DuPont, if you were a real person, you should be in prison for your criminal, deliberate, pollution. The fact that your dumpster perfluoro carbon contaminants have infested everything makes you the lowest of the low. Sadly, very few people understand the magnitude of your continued crime. One of them is Robert Bilott JD. Not all heroes wear a cape.

1 person found this helpful