The first independent study of the health effects of an unregulated chemical used to make Teflon and other products is underway in the Little Hocking water district in southeast Ohio.
About 300 people have agreed to participate in the four-year study after receiving randomly mailed invitations. Doctors aim to study about 100 more to gauge the effects of C8, a chemical used by the DuPont Company at its Washington Works plant near Parkersburg, West Virginia.
The National Institutes of Health is funding the study.
C8 came under scrutiny in 2001 when Ohio and West Virginia residents claimed the plant knowingly contaminated water supplies with a chemical harmful to humans. They filed a class-action lawsuit against DuPont. That case is set for trial October eleventh in West Virginia.
DuPont maintains that the chemical poses no health risk to humans.