The Marietta Times (Ohio)
July 9, 2005
Screenings set to test for effects from
By Pamela Brust
VIENNA, W.Va. — A health screening project, which will
test levels of the chemical C8 in the blood of residents in six
water districts, is scheduled to begin in late July or early August.
Ammonium perfluorooctanate, commonly known as C8, is used by
DuPont Washington Works in the manufacture of Teflon and has been
discharged into area water supplies. As part of a settlement in
a class action lawsuit filed against DuPont, the company agreed
to fund up $70 million for the blood testing.
Once the testing is complete, the results will be turned over
to an independent scenitific panel made up of three epidemiologists
agreed upon by both sides in the suit, to determine if there is
a link between C8 and human disease.
Dr. Paul Brooks and Art Maher of BrookMar
Inc., an independent commission appointed by the court
to oversee and manage the C8 health project, conducted a press
conference Friday at Wingate Inn to provide updates on the project.
Maher said out of 80,000 potential individuals in the six water
districts affected, they anticipate about 60,000 will provide
health information and be tested.
“We anticipate a good turnout. We conducted focus groups
in the various water districts, and it was 100 percent who wanted
to participate.” Maher said.
The testing will be made available to current or former residents
of the Lubeck and Mason County Public Service Districts in West
Virginia, and Little Hocking Water Association, city of Belpre
Water Department, Tuppers Plains-Chester Water District and village
of Pomeroy Water District in Ohio. Concentrations of C8 were found
in those water supplies.
Four informational town meetings were announced for residents
of those districts. The meetings will be conducted Monday at Blennerhassett
Junior High School for LPSD residents, Tuesday at Belpre Middle
School for Belpre and Little Hocking residents, Thursday at the
Point Pleasant Moose Lodge for Mason County PSD, and Friday at
Meigs High School for Tuppers Plains-Chester Water District and
Pomeroy Water District. All meetings will be from 7 to 9 p.m.
If the scientific panel of epidemiologists determines there is
a probable link between C8 exposure and any disease, DuPont will
fund a medical monitoring program for up to $235 million to pay
for testing determined to be necessary. Class members will retain
their right to file personal injury claims and related damages
if an association is found.