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
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
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.