PFOA 2005
October 8, 2005. C8 testing process vital, but takes time.
Editorial. Marietta Times. (Ohio).

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October 08, 2005

Marietta Times (Ohio)

Our opinion: C8 testing process vital, but takes time

Testing tens of thousands of people is no easy task and it shouldn’t be a surprise that the testing of up to 60,000 people exposed to C8 in their drinking water hit a few snags.

We urge anyone eligible to participate in the study to be patient. It’s important that as many people as possible be tested.

The study is under way as the result of the settlement of a class action suit against DuPont over whether C8 — used in the manufacturing of Teflon at the Parkersburg area plant — is harmful to humans. The chemical is emitted into the soil, water and air, but it’s of particular concern because it is not regulated by the federal government and it’s present in at least six area public water systems and some private wells.

The study is a major way of determining whether C8 is a risk to humans. It’s important a large segment of the population be studied so that the data can carry some real weight.

Every bit of information helps in getting down to the nitty gritty. Large doses of C8 are harmful to lab animals, are there any levels harmful to people? The federal Environmental Protection Agency is conducting a review, and, in the meantime, DuPont is paying for bottled water in the Little Hocking water system. That’s because the highest levels of C8 are found there. Eventually, all six of the contaminated water systems will be equipped with filters. But in the meantime, people must participate in the study.

The questionnaires are long. The process is bumpy. It’s not a perfect system. It may be months, or longer, before the results are known. But that’s no reason to give up. Get tested.

A new development in the C8 saga is DuPont’s effort to form a Community Advisory Panel. Details are sketchy, but it appears the company wants to form a group made up of citizens and industry representatives to address concerns about C8 and any other matters that come before the panel. It sounds like an idea that has merit, as long as the panel has the freedom to meet and discuss issues publicly and out from under the shadow of DuPont.

Getting answers to the C8 issue is a complicated, lengthy process, and even then, experts point out there may be no concrete answers. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.

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