U.S. Water News Online
MARIETTA, Ohio -- Bottled water provided to about 1,000
southeast Ohioans whose tap water contained a chemical used to make
Teflon has tested positive for trace amounts of the same substance,
the water company said.
DuPont Co., based in Wilmington, Del., agreed to pay for bottled
water until it installs filters to remove the chemical at well water
treatment plants to settle a 2001 class action lawsuit. Ohio and West
Virginia residents who sued DuPont claimed the company intentionally
withheld and misrepresented information about the human health threat
posed by perfluorooctanoic acid and its salts, known as C8.
The chemical was found in the bottled water when the Little
Hocking Water Association tested it to check the accuracy of its C8
testing methods, said David Altman, an attorney for the water
Marietta-based Crystal Spring Water confirmed the chemical was in
its bottled water with two of its own tests after it learned about
the water association's findings, owner Gary Matheny said. Crystal
Spring is one of three companies DuPont is paying to provide water
until the filters are installed.
Crystal Spring is supplying the 1,000 people treated water and is
installing a filter to remove C8 from the nearby spring it uses
across the Ohio River in West Virginia, Matheny said.
Crystal Spring bottled water is sold in about six counties in Ohio
and seven counties in West Virginia, Matheny said. The company is
sending 2,000 letters to customers to tell them about plans to
install a filter at the spring.
Tests on the bottled water showed C8 levels at 13 to 17 parts per
trillion. The well supply that provides the residents' tap water
contained 3,500 parts per trillion to 7,200 parts per trillion.
A University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine study on about 325
residents who receive water from the Little Hocking water district
showed that they had 80 times more C8 in their blood than the general
population, but the researchers said they could not find a link to
increased liver, kidney, thyroid or cholesterol problems.
A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency science panel has issued a
draft report saying C8 is "likely" carcinogenic.
The chemical is used in many of DuPont's most popular products,
such as nonstick coating for cookware, auto fuel systems, computer
chips and clothing.
DuPont, which says C8 poses no human health threat, agreed to pay
more than $107 million to settle the lawsuit with the residents over
the chemical from the company's plant near Parkersburg, W.Va. DuPont
also is paying for a health screening and study for up to 80,000
residents in six water districts in Ohio and West Virginia.
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