August 12, 2005
The Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)
C8 found in wastewater, air at DuPont's
CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio - State officials have found a chemical used
to make Teflon in wastewater from DuPont's Circleville plant that
trickles into the Scioto River, according to documents obtained
by a newspaper.
Tests from one holding pond at the plant that drains into the
river showed levels of C8 at 8.1 to 9.8 parts per billion, according
to Ohio EPA records obtained by The Columbus Dispatch.
Another holding pond that doesn't run into the river had levels
of the chemical, also known as ammonium perfluorooctanoate, ranging
from 9.4 to 13.2 parts per billion.
One part per billion is the equivalent of 50 drops of water in
an Olympic-sized pool. DuPont conducted the wastewater tests in
July and October 2004.
C8 also was found in the air around those plants, but it was
not clear how much because those records were not released.
The health effects of drinking water contaminated with the chemical
have not been determined, but a panel of scientists from the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency said in June the chemical should
be considered a likely cancer risk.
DuPont is paying for health tests of up to 80,000 Ohio and West
Virginia residents where the chemical was discovered in drinking
water as part of a settlement of a class-action lawsuit. The
company says it uses less of the chemical at the Circleville plant
than at the other facilities.
The company also has tested for C8 in wells used for drinking
water in surrounding Pickaway County and nearby Ross County. The
Pickaway tests didn't uncover C8 contamination, and Ross County
is still awaiting results of tests done there six weeks ago, officials
Rob Banerjee, manager of the Circleville
plant, said on Wednesday that the company started collecting wastewater
and incinerating it in December to prevent the chemical from getting
into the drinking water.
He said the chemical was not detectable in samples collected
about two months ago upstream and downstream from plant.