Monday, March 7, 2016

Who is Eligible for C8 Medical Monitoring?

Did you live or work in Belpre, Lubeck, Little Hocking, Tuppers Plains, Pomeroy or Mason County (WV) before 2004 and drink the water for at least a year?
If these conditions apply to you, you are already a member of one of the largest class action lawsuits on record. As a class member, you are entitled to certain medical screenings as a condition of the settlement agreement. The medical screenings were developed in response to thefindings of the C8 Science Panel. The panel found a probable link between exposure and six medical conditions: kidney cancer, testicular cancer, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, high cholesterol, and pre-eclampsia (or pregnancy-induced hypertension). Class members are also entitled to a simple blood test to measure C8/PFOA.
Class members may register for the free monitoring program here: www.c-8medicalmonitoringprogram.com. After proving eligibility, class members will select a physician to administer the applicable screenings. The cost of the physician’s consultation is also covered as part of the medical monitoring program.
This is not the C8 Health Project of 2005-2006, which helped to determine the outcome of the class action settlement. Instead, C8 Medical Monitoring is a benefit for class members whether they participated in the health project or not. Pregnant class members who develop pre-eclampsia are entitled to a home-use blood pressure monitoring device to be paid for by the medical monitoring program.
Individuals who participated in the C8 Health Project and who saved their paperwork will be able to make it through the process more quickly. Others are encouraged to participate, but will have to prove eligibility to get the ball rolling. Class members may register online or by printing a copy of the registration and eligibility forms and returning them by mail. You can also begin the process with a phone call to 1-888-499-2553 – the hotline for C8 Medical Monitoring.
DuPont has set aside $235 million for the medical monitoring program, yet few have availed themselves of the opportunity to participate in the free medical screenings - worth hundreds of dollars to each individual.
The attorneys for the class are available at www.c8claim.com to answer questions about your rights under the settlement agreement at no cost to you.
If you would like assistance filling out the required forms, send a private message to RCNN.

Friday, January 23, 2015

C8 Medical Monitoring an Epic Fail

DuPont has paid out $9 million for the Medical Monitoring Program so far, yet only $50,233.26 of that was spend on screening residents who may be sickened by water supplies that were polluted for decades by C8 or PFOA.  The industrial solvent was used at DuPont Washington Works near Parkersburg, WV in the production of Teflon and other applications as far back as the 1950’s.

As the result of a class action lawsuit agreement, which scientifically linked C8 exposure to kidney and testicular cancer, thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis, high cholesterol, and pre-eclampsia, DuPont has agreed to provide community members with a medical monitoring program worth $235 million. However, it appears that participation is very low.  

This week the group calling themselves “Keep Your Promises DuPont” released a series of invoices DuPont has paid out to administrator Michael Rozen. The disparity has Dr. Paul Brooks, one of the original administrators of the C8 Health Project responsible for collecting the medical data and blood serum of 70,000 community members, questioning the effectiveness of the monitoring program.


Michael Rozen’s firm, Feinberg Rozen, has been complicit in industrial misrepresentation before.  In February 2011, a US District Judge ordered Rozen’s partner to stop representing himself to claimants of the BP Deepwater Horizon Victim Compensation Fund as a neutral party when he was in fact an attorney representing BP.  (River City)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

EPA Proposes C8/PFOA Restrictions

The US Environmental Protection Agency today proposed a Significant New Use Rule for several perfluoronated chemicals, including C8 or PFOA, in anticipation of a voluntary 2015 phase-out deadline.
It’s the manmade substance at the heart of a massive class action lawsuit in the Mid-Ohio Valley. DuPont has been using the chemical compound at Washington Works since the 1950’s incidentally contaminating the water, air and soil around the plant.
More than 150 alternatives have been developed for several global companies as they work to meet the EPA’s voluntary goal, including DuPont.
This proposal would require that anyone who intends to import these chemicals for any new use submit a notification to EPA at least 90 days before beginning the activity. The notice provides an opportunity for the agency to review or potentially prohibit the activity before it enters the marketplace.
The EPA reports that the agency’s action has resulted in a 41 percent reduction in human blood-levels nationwide.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

DuPont Sends Mixed Messages

Just as a grassroots effort was launching to hold DuPont accountable for commitments made in a 2005 class action lawsuit settlement agreement, the company released seemingly conflicting information about the future of the spin-off scheduled to take over the controversial fluorochemical operation at DuPont Washington Works.
The Delaware News Journal reported that DuPont is looking to shed millions of dollars in current and future environmental remediation baggage, including C8 cleanup costs. DuPont is creating a new company “Chemours” to take over the operations and the mounting environmental liabilities of three of its most volatile units including the fluorochemical unit at DuPont Washington Works.
At the same time, Robin Ollis-Stemple, DuPont’s regional public affairs manager, issued a statement to the local media saying that DuPont has consistently met its obligations from the C8 settlement and will continue to do so.
The statement said "Several years ago, DuPont, working together with the local community, funded a comprehensive study to evaluate whether any probable links exist between a material no longer used in operation of our Washington Works facility and any disease. We also committed to provide water filtration systems for six area water districts and fund a medical monitoring program for local residents." 
Despite the claim, there is clear evidence DuPont intends to shirk the responsibility of maintaining community filtration systems and leave the ongoing costs of the court-mandated cleanup to Chemours.
On December 2, Andrew Harten of DuPont sent a letter to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency stating the company’s intention to transfer the ownership and operation of the Little Hocking Water Association GAC treatment site from DuPont to Chemours on July 1, 2015.
Under the terms of the initial settlement, DuPont agreed to pay for the construction and ongoing expenses of the filtration treatment plants infinitely if exposure could be scientifically linked to human disease. As the result of a massive health study involving 70,000 Mid-Ohio Valley residents, the C8 Science Panel determined a probable link exists between C8 exposure and pre-eclampsia, high cholesterol, thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis, and kidney and testicular cancer. (www.RiverCityNewsNetwork.com)

C8 – It’s Not Over

An organization is launching an effort to hold DuPont accountable for commitments made to Mid-Ohio Valley residents whose water was contaminated with C8 as a result of industrial processes at DuPont Washington Works.

A 2005 class action settlement spells out the company’s agreement to address the contamination of six local communities. However, Keep Your Promises DuPont says the company is falling short.

The group is demanding that the company appropriately compensate those who are sick from C8 exposure, effectively administer medical monitoring for the impacted class and ensure that the water is safe to drink. The non-profit organization is a partnership between the Action Network Fund and local residents. (River City News Network)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

C8 Associated with High Blood Pressure in MOV Children

New evidence suggests that prenatal exposure to a controversial industrial solvent may be to blame for high blood pressure in local children. 

DuPont officials say they have already begun a voluntary phase out process intended to bring the use of perfluorooctanoic acid to a halt globally. 

C8, also known as PFOA or perfluorooctanoic acid, was detected in local drinking water supplies in 2001 and 2002 – the result of emissions from DuPont Washington Works near Parkersburg, West Virginia where the chemical has been used for decades to make Teflon and other consumer applications.  The discovery of the chemical contamination led to a class action lawsuit against DuPont brought by local water consumers who feared health effects from exposure to the manmade surfactant. Communities with water systems impacted by the contamination include Belpre, Tuppers Plains, Little Hocking and Pomeroy, Ohio - and Lubeck and Mason County, West Virginia.

As the result of the class action lawsuit settlement, an independent panel of epidemiologists known as the C8 Science Panel determined after several years of study that C8 exposure is linked to pre-eclampsia, high cholesterol, thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis, and kidney and testicular cancer.  Dozens of area residents who have fallen ill are in the process of filing personal injury claims against the company, which will be handled as multi-district litigation in federal court. 

It has been more than a year since the C8 Science Panel completed their obligation to the court and released their probable link findings. Yet, the blood serum and medical data gathered from Mid-Ohio Valley residents to draw those conclusions is still being used in studies all over the world as scientists try to learn more about the properties of C8 and its impact on human health.  

Recently, a scientific journal published the results of a study which examined the association between prenatal exposure in Mid-Ohio Valley mothers and the incidences of high blood pressure observed in their fifth grade children. 

C8 exposure has been associated with an increased risk of high cholesterol and pregnancy induced hypertension, but this is the first study to examine a potential correlation between PFOA exposure and high blood pressure in children.  

A cross-sectional analysis revealed that increased prenatal exposure was associated “with increased odds of high blood pressure in children with stronger associations for high diastolic than combined blood pressure or high systolic”.  

Collaborating study authors included Dr. Tony Fletcher – a member of the C8 Science Panel and epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, West Virginia University, the University of California Berkeley, UK, and the Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health. 

The study concluded that in utero PFOA may be associated with elevated blood pressure in children exposed while in the womb.  However, it is noted that study power is limited and the results need further examination and confirmation. 


DuPont spokesman Dan Turner said the company does not have a statement regarding the high blood pressure study.  

Thursday, December 5, 2013

DuPont: C8 Phase Out Ahead of Schedule

DuPont officials say they will no longer be in the C8 business in 2014 – one year ahead of a voluntary global phase out program initiated by the US Environmental Protection Agency. 

C8, also known as PFOA or perfluorooctanoic acid, was detected in local drinking water supplies in 2001 and 2002 – the result of emissions from DuPont Washington Works near Parkersburg, West Virginia where the chemical has been used for decades to make Teflon and other consumer applications.  The discovery of the chemical contamination led to a class action lawsuit against DuPont brought by local water consumers who feared health effects from exposure to the manmade surfactant. Communities with water systems impacted by the contamination include Belpre, Tuppers Plains, Little Hocking and Pomeroy, Ohio - and Lubeck and Mason County, West Virginia.

As the result of the class action lawsuit settlement, an independent panel of epidemiologists known as the C8 Science Panel determined after several years of study that C8 exposure is linked to pre-eclampsia, high cholesterol, thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis, and kidney and testicular cancer.  Dozens of area residents who have fallen ill are in the process of filing personal injury claims against the company, which will be handled as multi-district litigation in federal court. 

Despite the settlement of the lawsuit, many questions remain about C8 and the extent to which it contaminated the local environment. For instance, the controversy began with the deaths of an entire herd of cattle, yet the company is so far refusing to provide EPA-requested testing of local cattle, locally grown produce, and many other sets of environmental monitoring data promised more than a decade ago.  By means of a voluntary regulatory process, a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2005, EPA hoped to gain insight into some of C8's more elusive properties - such as the chemical's capacity to travel in the environment, as well as the extent to which local game and produce had become contaminated. Yet, many of these questions remain unanswered. 

Cincinnati attorney Robert Bilott, who was the lead attorney for the class in the groundbreaking C8 suit, has been urging the EPA to force DuPont to provide the promised monitoring in order to "address ongoing threats to human health and the environment".

In a November letter to Bilott, EPA officials admit “additional data would have provided for a more thorough characterization of releases near the Washington Works site”.  Dr. Maria J. Doa, Director of the Chemical Control Division says DuPont participated in a monitoring program, but “did not fully meet the charge”. However, Doa insists the EPA is “not in a position to require DuPont to conduct additional monitoring”.

Doa points to agency efforts which have resulted in a Stewardship Program – a global initiative involving eight companies who have voluntarily pledged to phase out manufacturing of C8 by the end of 2015. 
DuPont spokesperson Janet Smith said the company has already stopped manufacturing C8 and is “on track to complete the conversion to alternatives” in 2014.

“DuPont stopped manufacturing PFOA in first quarter 2013,” Smith said. “We have also eliminated use of PFOA in the manufacture of fluoropolymers as of the end of June 2013.”

In the company’s annual report documenting progress in meeting the PFOA Stewardship Program goals, DuPont notes that the elimination of C8 in the manufacture of fluoropolymers was made two and a half years ahead of the EPA goal.