When tests were made in the late winter of 2002, Parkersburg had a nearly non-detectable level of the chemical DuPont uses to make Teflon.
But tests made last October by a company commissioned by DuPont, and repeated two months later, indicate those levels are rising, particularly in water wells where originally, virtually no C-8 could be found at all.
"The chemical would be both the air and the water," says Eric Bennett, of the Parkersburg Water Department. "What causes it to raise, I don't know. I do know the prevailing wind is right up the river."
Regardless of the reason, they are now above the .05 level established to determine which communities should receive blood tests, and for communities to receive filtration systems to remove C8 from public water supplies.
The C8 Project, the organization testing individuals for the chemical, had little to say about this. A statement by the organization says the court order identified six participating water districts, and Parkersburg isn't one of them.
Is this something the public should be concerned about?
"I really don't think so," Bennett says. "The levels are still fairly low. The health exposure level they currently have is 150 parts per billion. We're well underneath that."
And if you're wondering, that major renovation of the water treatment plant doesn't include filtration for C-8.
DuPont issued a statement Monday saying the amount of the chemical in Parkersburg water supplies remains at a safe level.
The results of the recent Parkersburg water tests, DuPont's statement, says, "Reflect PFOA levels far below any established regulatory guidance for drinking water. We believe, therefore, that the water we tested for PFOA is safe for human consumption."