There is no measurable amount of C8 flowing from taps in the six Ohio River water districts that settled a lawsuit with DuPont over the toxic chemical that the company used to make Teflon.
Along 75 miles of the Ohio River – from Parkersburg, West Virginia, to Pomeroy, Ohio – water from wells contaminated with C8, or perfluorooctanoic acid, is being filtered through granulated activated carbon before reaching taps in homes and businesses.
That’s good. The chemical has been tied to a number of cancers and health disorders.
But what about the homes and businesses downriver from DuPont’s Washington Works plant south of Parkersburg? For more than 50 years, the plant spewed tons of the chemical directly into the river or into the air through its smokestacks.
Some water-district managers along those 230 river miles say they will wait to see what regulations are added, or cut, by the Trump administration. Other managers say they don’t think their water is contaminated, or they have more important things to worry about.
But Dr. Paul Brooks said of those districts, “We believe they are in danger of C8 contamination.”
Brooks is a retired general practitioner who helped start a community health study to measure the level of C8 in the blood of Ohio and West Virginia residents living near the company’s Washington Works plant. The study found that, in general, area residents had a median level of 38 parts per billion of C8 in their blood – 7.6 times more than the average American.
The $70 million study, financed by a DuPont settlement in 2005, was the foundation of a science panel’s investigation that concluded a “probable link” existed between C8 and six diseases: kidney cancer, testicular cancer, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, pregnancy-induced hypertension and high cholesterol.
Brooks said of areas farther downriver: “We were strongly recommending that these local water districts test for contamination in their drinking water, not just based on its bio-persistence, but the logic that it would flow down.”
To read more about this story: http://www.dispatch.com/news/20170122/testing-drinking-water-for-toxic-chemical-c8-urged-farther-down-ohio-river