August 16, 2005
The Marietta Times (Ohio)
Providing bottled water a good move by
The Little Hocking Water Association announced Monday that DuPont
will provide all of its 12,000 hook-ups with bottled water until
the system can install special C8 filters.
We think the company is doing the right thing considering Little
Hocking water customers are dealing with the highest levels of
C8. In all, there are six public water systems in which C8 has
been detected in drinking water. Many of the western Washington
County residents who are tapped into the system have been using
bottled water anyway. They shouldn’t have to keep paying
News of C8, the unregulated chemical used in the manufacturing
of Teflon at DuPont’s Washington Works plant in Wood County,
has led newspaper pages and newscasts in the past few weeks. That’s
because testing of more than 60,000 people began, most recently
in Belpre this week, in an effort to collect data that could help
determine if C8 is harmful to people and at what levels.
The chemical is unregulated but under review at the federal level.
That’s because high levels of the chemical have caused cancer
in lab animals, but ties to cancer, birth defects and other health
problems are less certain in humans.
The testing going on now in local communities is being funded
through a settlement DuPont reached in a class action lawsuit
filed on behalf of people who have lived with C8 in their drinking
water for decades. That testing will cost millions of dollars
and providing bottled water to all Little Hocking Water customers
will cost hundreds of thousands more.
DuPont is doing the right thing.
Some may argue that DuPont is doing too little, too late, and
should have told people long ago that C8 was in the water. The
company claims it has conducted studies of its own and that, in
its experts’ opinions, C8 poses no risks to humans. Still,
the company needs to work with local water systems who struggle
to answer questions every day from customers who are concerned
about the unknown.
Those living with C8 in their drinking water, and the rest of
us who likely have some level of C8 in our blood, deserve to know
if the chemical is a health risk. We’re glad to see the
company making gestures of working with the community, not against