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Dow Jones reports:

DuPont Co. and The Chemours Co. will each pay $335.4 million to settle thousands of lawsuits over exposure to toxic chemicals from a West Virginia plant.

About 3,550 lawsuits have been filed in federal and state courts in Ohio and West Virginia alleging injury from exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid in drinking water.

Last year, officials in Vermont, New Hampshire and New York expanded their efforts to find out how much of the chemical ended up in drinking water. Factories for decades used the chemical, known as PFOA, as a plastic coating and to make consumer products such as Teflon nonstick pans, waterproof jackets and pizza boxes.

DuPont said it stopped making the chemicals at that plant more than a decade ago. Both companies didn't admit liability or fault.

Former large manufacturers or users of PFOA, including 3M Co. and DuPont, agreed in 2006 to phase out PFOA production and use by December 2015. In 2005, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency imposed the then-largest civil penalty in its history on DuPont, $16.5 million, as part of a settlement that the company hid information about the chemical.

The EPA hasn't declared PFOA harmful to humans, but it has raised concerns about the safety of the chemical in drinking water.

That Washington Works plant outside Parkersburg, West Virginia, was previously owned by DuPont and is now owned by Chemours. DuPont spun off Chemours in 2015.

A multiyear medical study in the 2000s of 70,000 people near the plant found "some suggestions" of "probable links" between high exposure to the chemical and some illnesses. The study was funded by a settlement between DuPont and plaintiffs suing the company over PFOA exposure, and both the plaintiffs and DuPont had to approve the study's findings, said David Savitz, a vice president for research at Brown University, who served on the study panel.

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