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UPDATE: DuPont Washington Works Ahead of Schedule

By: WTAP News, The Associated Press Email
By: WTAP News, The Associated Press Email
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UPDATE 12/10/2013 4:20 PM

A thing of the past.

That virtually describes the manufacture and use of C8 at DuPont Washington Works.

DuPont this fall sent a letter to the EPA stating it's on track to eliminate the use of the chemical by 2015.

It stopped making C8 earlier this year, and stopped using it to make fluoropolymers in June.

That was part of a pledge nearly seven years ago, after it settled a class-action lawsuit.

DuPont says its working on using different chemicals to make its products by the end of 2014.


UPDATE 10/29/2013 10:00 AM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - DuPont Co. reaches a proposed agreement to settle alleged Clean Air Act violations at its Washington Works Plant near Parkersburg.

The Environmental Protection Agency said Monday that the company has agreed to pay an $800,000 fine and implement several emissions safeguards of the proposed deal.

The deal requires DuPont to take steps to limit emissions of hazardous air pollutants at the Wood County facility. The EPA says the penalty will be divided equally between the United States and West Virginia.

Media outlets report that the proposal filed in U.S. District Court in Charleston is subject to a 30-day comment period and final court approval.

The enforcement action is part of EPA's national initiative to reduce emissions of hazardous air pollutants by enforcing leak detection and repair regulations.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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UPDATE 10/28/2013 5:15 PM

DuPont responds to the latest report of C8 lawsuits.

Nine were filed this month.

The plaintiffs are residents of West Virginia and Ohio with cancer and other diseases.

The suits accuse DuPont of contaminating water supplies with the chemical used by Washington Works to manufacture Teflon.

The company plans to stop using it by 2015.

The company's response says such lawsuits ignore family history, lifestyle choices and other causes of health issues and disease in specific individuals.

DuPont repeats its previous statement that it plans to vigorously defend any and all lawsuits not based on valid science.
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UPDATE 10/28/2013 11:05 AM

CINCINNATI (AP) - Nine people in Ohio and West Virginia who have cancer and other diseases file federal lawsuits against DuPont.

The lawsuits filed this month accuse the chemical giant of knowingly contaminating drinking water supplies with the chemical C8 which was used at the company's plant near Parkersburg.

The latest lawsuits are among roughly 50 such cases filed against DuPont since last April, one of those being a wrongful death case.

The company denies all allegations in the lawsuits, but they say they plan to stop making and using C8 in the next two years.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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UPDATED: 5/27/2013

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (AP) - A panel of doctors has released its recommended protocols for medical monitoring of residents exposed to a chemical used by a DuPont plant in Wood County.

The medical panel was formed as part of a 2005 class-action settlement of a lawsuit that claimed water supplies in Ohio and West Virginia were contaminated with the chemical C8.

A separate science panel found probable links between C8 and several health issues, including thyroid disease and testicular and kidney cancers.

An attorney for Parkersburg-area plaintiffs, Harry Deitzler, says the medical panel's report addresses protocols for initial screening and diagnostic testing.

Deitzler says in a news release that the court-appointed director of medical monitoring and Brookmar, Inc., will develop a plan and process to implement the screening and testing program.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATED: 10/29/2012

A science panel says it has found probable links between high cholesterol in mid-Ohio Valley residents and their exposure to a chemical used by a DuPont plant in West Virginia.

The C8 Science Panel released its final report Monday on studies of data collected from about 70,000 residents. The three-member science panel was formed in 2005 as part of a class-action settlement of a lawsuit that claimed water supplies were contaminated in Ohio and West Virginia.

The company uses C8 at its Washington Works plant near Parkersburg. DuPont plans to stop making and using C8 by 2015.

Previously the panel found probable links between the chemical, also known as or perfluorooctanoic acid, and several other health issues, including thyroid disease, testicular and kidney cancers, pregnancy-induced hypertension and ulcerative colitis.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

DuPont's corporate office issued this statement on the panel's findings:

"Because of (the Science Panel's) work, DuPont will, with the advice of independent doctors, provide medical monitoring for eligible Class Members that will extend many years into the future. In addition, DuPont remains committed to its ongoing program of providing state of the art water filtering systems to insure that C8 is filtered out of the drinking water.

DuPont has had these measures in place for many decades to minimize worker exposure to C8. Dats shows that these measures are effective. DuPont has reduced total C8 emissions by more than 99% at Washington Works, and by more than 98% in our global manufacturing operations since 2000. We also have developed and commercialized new technologies to make our products without using C8.

Recently, however, plaintiff attorneys began advertising for new clients to now sue DuPont again, alleging that C8 actually caused personal injury. Lawsuits have already been filed. Lawsuits such as these ignore family history and lifestyle choices as leading causes of health issues and disease in specific individuals. DuPont will vigorously defend against any and all such lawsuits not based upon valid science. At the same time DuPont will continue its commitment to provide good jobs with good wages and benefits in our local community."

This statement was issued by the office of Hill, Petersen, Carper, Bee and Deitzler, PLLC:

"The panel’s work is now concluded. For purposes of the pending class action lawsuit, any diseases which the panel has not linked to C-8 cannot be the subject of PFOA based exposure claims by the lawsuit’s class members.

The panel's combined reports leave no doubt that the past levels of C-8 in drinking water has caused serious disease among many local residents. As a result, affected residents who meet the class definition will soon be entitled to medical testing at DuPont’s expense. The testing, referred to in the class action lawsuit as medical monitoring, will allow doctors to conduct procedures to identify the PFOA linked diseases in the population. Medical monitoring will result in earlier diagnosis and more effective treatment for the affected individuals.

Beyond medical monitoring, class members who suffer from linked diseases are now permitted to move forward with personal injury (or related wrongful death) claims against DuPont. The claims arise from Dupont’s discharging the known carcinogen into their drinking water. As part of the 2005 class action settlement, DuPont agreed that it will not dispute that PFOA can cause the diseases which the C8 Science Panel has linked to PFOA exposure.

In 2005, the Circuit Court of Wood County approved the appointment of Hill Peterson Carper Bee & Deitzler, PLLC (Charleston and Parkersburg), Taft Stettinius & Hollister, LLP (Cincinnati), and Winter & Johnson, PLLC (Charleston) as counsel for the class members. The court-approved attorneys continue to represent class members on class wide claims. In addition the class attorneys are representing several thousand individual class members who have contracted with the class attorneys to potentially seek compensation for linked diseases.

Also based on the combined probable link findings, DuPont is obligated to continue to fund the state-of-the-art water treatment systems that were installed as a condition of the 2005 settlement to reduce PFOA levels in the impacted public and private drinking water supplies.

The “C-8 Science Panel” was charged with independently and comprehensively evaluating all of the available scientific data relating to PFOA to determine whether it is more likely than not that PFOA exposure is linked to serious human disease. To qualify for membership on the panel, the panelists had to be well-qualified epidemiologists who were independent of either side to the lawsuit.

The Science Panel reports were filed with the Circuit Court of Wood County, West Virginia at Parkersburg, and may be reviewed online at http://www.hpcbd.com/c8probablelink.html .

In reaction to the C-8 Science Panel’s findings today, class counsel Robert Bilott stated: 'We can’t undo the damage that the pollution caused, but fortunately the lawsuit forced DuPont to get the poison out of the water pending final results from the panel. Now the residents can be tested for the C8 linked diseases, and hopefully quick diagnosis and treatment will increase recovery rates. As attorneys, we are proud that the truth has been uncovered. Our next step will be to seek fair compensation for those who have been harmed because of DuPont's contamination of their drinking water with PFOA'"

______________________________________________________

People are breathing a sigh of relief around the valley and those who were part of the study say they're glad this process is finally over.

Since the study began over four years ago, people in the affected areas have taken precautions to make sure they don't see any of the health risks now linked to c8.

"I've got a filter on my water. I have a reverse osmosis system set up so that I don't have any problem with it because it filters even C8," says Robert Miller from Belpre. He was part of the study but says he's never had any health problems.

Even those that weren't affected by C8 have mixed opinions as to who's responsible for problems others are facing.

"I think it's a shame so many people have suffered repercussions from that. They surely should have known something was going on and they could have cleaned it up and shut the problem off," says Mike McCarthy.

But Miller has a different opinion, "I'd hate to think they found something that was really bad because it might close DuPont which would run the whole community. They are a big producer of employment and other things so I think it would be a disaster if DuPont closed."

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UPDATED: 10/29/2012

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A science panel says it has found probable links between high cholesterol in mid-Ohio Valley residents and their exposure to a chemical used by a DuPont plant in West Virginia.

The C8 Science Panel released its final report Monday on studies of data collected from about 70,000 residents. The three-member science panel was formed in 2005 as part of a class-action settlement of a lawsuit that claimed water supplies were contaminated in Ohio and West Virginia.

The company uses C8 at its Washington Works plant near Parkersburg. DuPont plans to stop making and using C8 by 2015.

Previously the panel found probable links between the chemical, also known as or perfluorooctanoic acid, and several other health issues, including thyroid disease, testicular and kidney cancers, pregnancy-induced hypertension and ulcerative colitis.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


Study Results - Probable C8 Links

Probable Link To Birth Defects

Probable Link to Pregnancy Induced Hypertension and Preeclampsia

Probable Link to Miscarriage and Stillbirths

Probable Link to Preterm Birth and Low Birthweight

Staus Report - Changes in serum PFOA/PFOS and serum lipids between 2005 and 2010 in the Mid-Ohio Valley

Staus Report - Prospective study of reproductive health outcomes in the mid-Ohio valley


Updated 9:40PM 12/06/2011

The C8 Science Panel says there is positive association between C8 found in human blood, and the existence of thyroid disease.

"This trend with thyroid disease was significant for women and nearly significant for men and women combined," says Dr. Kyle Steenland, Science Panel Member.

But the probable link involved women and pregnancy. There were no links found involving low birth weight, birth defects or birth losses such as miscarriages. The one probable link which was found involved pregnant women and high blood pressure.

"It's known to increase the effects of pre-term birth, it can adversely affect the growth of the baby," says Science Panel member Dr. David Savitz. "It can lead to growth retardation in the infant, and in extreme cases, it can affect the mother's health as well."

While it wouldn't use the exact word, the latter finding is one DuPont officials won't dispute.

"Considering all the available data, DuPont does not believe that PFOA exposure causes pregnancy-induced hypertension," says Karl Boelter, Manager, DuPont Washington Works. "We'll continue to evaluate this as more data becomes available."

The attorney for residents who originally brought the class action suit leading to the science panel's formation says that suit's main effect is that C8 is now being filtered from local drinking water.

"The first link has been established, and you have the issue of the thyroid disease, and concerns that have not been finalized yet," says Harry Deizler, Residents' Attorney. "I wouldn't want it in my water at this point."

And with the summer of 2012 being the target date for issuing the panel's final report, there is more to come.


Update: 12/05/2011 10:00am

The C8 Science Panel is releasing some results from its health study.

The panel says it has found a probable link between c8 exposure and high blood pressure in pregnancy.

The study did not find a probable link between c8 exposure and miscarriage or still birth.

It also did not find probable link between low birth rate in infants, or birth defects.

The results are being released at a news conference this morning in Vienna.

Stay tuned to WTAP-TV and WTAP.COM for more details as they become available.

Update: 12/05/2011 10:26am

DuPont has released a statement regarding today's news conference by the C8 Science Panel.

The following statement comes from the Washington Works Plant Manager Karl Boelter.

DuPont Statement -- Science Panel Update, Dec. 5, 2011

In 2005, DuPont settled the Leach class action litigation related to PFOA and communities near the Washington Works facility. As part of the settlement, the company agreed to fund studies by an independent science panel charged to determine whether any probable link exists between exposure to PFOA and human disease.

On Dec. 5, 2011, the Science Panel filed its first determinations. DuPont respects the process set up to resolve the Leach litigation and continues to meet its legal obligations in that matter. The Science Panel applies a “probable link” standard which is defined in a legal agreement as "more likely than not." The panel determined that among class members, there is not a probable link between PFOA exposure and 1) birth defects, 2) pre-term birth and low birth weight, and 3) miscarriage and stillbirths. Under this legal standard, the Science Panel determined it is more likely than not that there is a probable link between PFOA exposure and pregnancy-induced hypertension among class members.

All of the work of the Science Panel is an important part of DuPont's ongoing and comprehensive assessment of the science related to PFOA. This Science Panel determination is based, in part, on studies that are not yet published. Considering all the available data, DuPont does not believe that PFOA causes pregnancy-induced hypertension. We will continue to evaluate this health end point as more data becomes available.

DuPont will move forward with our obligations under the settlement agreement, including jointly selecting with the plaintiffs an independent medical panel. The medical panel will determine whether medical monitoring is called for under the terms of the settlement.

Also on Dec. 5, 2011, the Science Panel filed status reports related to thyroid and to lipids.

As the Science Panel has indicated, these are interim reports, and do not represent a determination regarding probable link. There is additional work to be done, and they expect to complete this work by July 2012. PFOA Stewardship and DuPont Product Safety In response to questions about PFOA in the blood of the general population, and in response to customer interest in product alternatives, DuPont has committed to no longer make, buy or use
PFOA by 2015, or sooner if possible. We have made significant progress toward this commitment, including commercializing next-generation offerings that are made without using PFOA, and that cannot break down to PFOA in the environment.

PFOA has been used as a processing aid in the manufacture of some fluoropolymers, and occurs as an unintended byproduct at trace levels in some surface protection products. Published studies have shown that consumer products made with these DuPont materials are safe for their intended uses.


Update: 9/26/2011

Some of the people who addressed the C8 Science Panel at a public meeting Monday night were people who, themselves, have had illnesses they believe are linked to C8.

One of the original members of the class action suit filed ten years ago is outspoken about the time it has taken for the science panel to complete its work.

"People are tired and they want answers," said Joe Kiger, an original C8 Lawsuit Member. "They want to know if this has caused illness. Several people have passed away, and they want to know if this is predicated on this. There are a lot of questions, a lot of concerns."

Another who attended the meeting has never lived in the affected area, but has been consulting with a realtor about moving to the area not far from where the meeting was held.

"I'm looking at a house 1,000 yards from this school," said Richard Johnson. "If this property has C8 on it, will it affect our future?"

"If my daughter was looking for a place to live, I would say, 'buy in the Blennerhassett district'", said Harry Deitzler, attorney for the original class. "It has great schools, the water is clean. If you were thinking about moving here, I wouldn't have any reservation."

Throughout the meeting, the panel members emphasized the final report is due out next summer, which is still more than nine months away.

"I get calls all the time; people are wanting answers," Kiger said. "Hopefully, by July, we'll have those answers."

And one panel member suggested the report may not be the last word on the issue.

"The one thing I'm certain of...I don't know what our answers are going to be," said Dr. David Savitz, "but I know they will make one side happy, and one side not so happy."

The science panel says it plans to release more findings...in advance of that July, 2012 report.


UPDATE: 9/26/2011

WTAP will be re-airing Monday's C8 Science Panel public meeting.

It will be shown on our My5 station, starting shortly before 6:00am on Tuesday.

And it will also be shown on our sister station, My5 Monday night at 2:00am.

You will also be able to watch it in its entirety on our website in the next 24 hours.

My5 is digital channel 15.3 over the air and cable channel 5 on CAS and Suddenlink cable.


UPDATE: 9/23/11 9:30PM

WTAP will broadcast the Monday, September 26 Parkersburg meeting at the Blennerhassett Middle School Auditorium on our webchannel starting at 6:00PM.


PARKERSBURG, W.V. (AP) - Scientists studying the possible health effects of a chemical used at a DuPont plant will hold public meetings later this month in West Virginia and Ohio.

The C8 Science Panel says on its website that the first meeting is set for Sept. 26 at Blennerhassett Middle School Auditorium in Parkersburg.

Another meeting is scheduled for Sept. 27 at Meigs Local Middle School Auditorium in Pomeroy, Ohio.

DuPont uses C8, also known as perfluorooctanoic acid, at its Washington Works plant near Parkersburg.

The panel was named in 2005 as part of a settlement of a lawsuit filed by Mid-Ohio Valley residents against DuPont that claimed C8 contaminated water supplies in Ohio and West Virginia. DuPont says
the chemical isn't harmful to human health.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)



Related Articles from the Archive

C-8 under the Microscope - September 2, 2004
http://www.wtap.com/news/headlines/991121.html

DuPont Settlement - December 15th, 2005
http://www.wtap.com/news/headlines/2079626.html

Cancer-Causing? - February 16th, 2006
http://www.wtap.com/news/headlines/2326021.html

No More Questionnaires - March 23rd, 2006
http://www.wtap.com/news/headlines/2515731.html

DuPont Will Pay for Lubeck C8 Filter - May 18th, 2006
http://www.wtap.com/news/headlines/2831051.html

Residents In Little Hocking Speak Out - May 22nd, 2006
http://www.wtap.com/news/headlines/2850336.html

C-8 Levels Rising - May 23rd, 2006
http://www.wtap.com/news/headlines/2850391.html

Filtering Out C8: Nearly A Reality - July 20th, 2007
http://www.wtap.com/home/headlines/8632892.html

DuPont Won't Face Criminal Charges - October 15th, 2007
http://www.wtap.com/home/headlines/10565371.html

Government Records Say DuPont Found Elevated Cancer Risk - June 9th, 2008
http://www.wtap.com/home/headlines/19654809.html

Judge Says No Group Lawsuit Against DuPont Over C8 - October 1st, 2008
http://www.wtap.com/home/headlines/30028919.html

Appeal Denied - December 12th, 2008
http://www.wtap.com/home/headlines/36078409.html

Dupont Chemical Testing Extended To 2011 - Febrary 10th, 2009
http://www.wtap.com/home/headlines/39379592.html

Latest C8 Report Notes Link With Immune System - March 20th, 2009
http://www.wtap.com/home/headlines/41562227.html

Judge Limits C8 Suit Vs Dupont To Monitoring Claim - September 28th, 2009
http://www.wtap.com/home/headlines/62410737.html

Delayed Puberty - September 30th, 2010
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10 Years Later - August 30th, 2011
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