FLUORIDE ACTION NETWORK PESTICIDE PROJECT
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PFOA is perfluorooctanoic acid and is sometimes called C8.
It is a man-made chemical and does not occur naturally in the environment.
The "PFOA" acronym is used to indicate not only perfluorooctanoic
acid itself, but also its principal salts.
The DuPont site where APFO is used as a reaction aid is the Washington Works (Route 892, Washington, West Virginia 26181) located along the Ohio River approximately seven miles southwest of Parkersburg, West Virginia.
The Little Hocking Water Association well field is located in Ohio on the north side of the Ohio River immediately across from the Washington Works facility. Consumers of this drinking water have brought a Class Action suit against the Association and DuPont for the contamination of their drinking water with DuPont's APFO, which residents and media refer to as C8.
PFOA is used as a processing aid in the manufacture of fluoropolymers to produce hundreds of items such as non-stick surfaces on cookware (TEFLON), protective finishes on carpets (SCOTCHGUARD, STAINMASTER), clothing (GORE-TEX), and the weather-resistant barrier sheeting used on homes under the exterior siding (TYVEK).
Online at: http://www.mariettatimes.com/news/story/0927202003_new11ruralsyste.asp
September 27, 2003
The Marietta Times
Examining the water we drink: Rural system in a bind
By Philip Elliott
TUPPERS PLAINS - In the green-trimmed BP store at the corner of Ohio 7 and Ohio 681, most faces are familiar to clerk Marcia Guess, a lifelong resident of the Meigs County town.
"I've lived here all my life," she said. "I know most everyone."
During her afternoon shift, Guess chats with residents about a set of 70,000-mile Michelin tires that are kept at an even 40 pounds of pressure and tells another customer not to worry about a fuel sale that ran over by a penny.
"I'm not that concerned," she said as she takes a $5 bill from a customer.
The lack of concern about the penny extends to other aspects of Guess' life, including what could be the most hazardous part of her day: the water that comes from her home's tap.
Guess is one of the Tuppers Plains-Chester Water District's 11,000 or so customers who drink water that has shown signs of a chemical known as C8, which is the impetus for a class-action lawsuit in West Virginia.
The suit claims DuPont knowingly allowed C8, a component used during the production of Teflon, to be discharged into local water supplies at unsafe levels and caused adverse effects on residents' health.
DuPont claims there is no evidence C8 poses a threat to humans.
To Guess, however, the water system comes as a welcome addition.
"I was so glad to get rid of the well," she said.
Her water, some of the 1.1 million gallons pumped each day in the district, comes from the six wells at the water treatment facility along the Ohio River. The closer each of the wells to the river, the higher the C8 concentration. The well field is about 11 miles away from DuPont's Washington, W.Va., Works plant.
A sign posted on the fence outside compound boasts the water is the best tasting in the United States, an honor from the 2000 national competitions in Washington, D.C.
The distinction is little consolation for district general manager Don Poole, who has traveled to the capital for each U.S. EPA meeting that could determine what moves - if any - to take to test for C8.
"You go to those meetings and you feel illiterate," Poole said. "Right now, we're just listening. And we're getting a lot of conflicting information."
But not enough information, he fears, and not the right kinds.
Of the more than 1,000 chemicals that could be in Ohio waterways, the EPA mandates local districts test for 90.
"It's a joke," Poole said. "There are thousands out there."
On the district's limited budget, there is no way Tuppers Plains-Chester could test for all of them. Even if they identified all the contaminants, they do not have the technology to remove them.
While the hearings continue in Washington and Charleston, W.Va., Poole said he plans to wait and watch what other districts do or are forced to do; he does not expect an immediate answer.
"We're kind of vulturistic like that," he said. "This issue will be here when I retire."
He has 10 years before he qualifies.
Affected water systems with C8 contamination above 0.05 parts per billion:
Little Hocking Water Association
Lubeck Public Water District
City of Belpre
Tuppers Plains/Chester Water District
Mason County, W.Va.
Village of Pomeroy
DuPont Washington Works