Tuesday, January 29, 2008

DuPont Starts Teflon Production in China

DuPont has announced the opening and start up of a Teflon production plant in China.

The plant makes polytetrafluoroethylene fine-powder and dispersion for global customers. It's said to be part of the company's long-term plan to establish a broader manufacturing base in China.

Teflon is used in hundreds of industrial applications to produce thousands of consumer products.

According to TradingMarkets.com, "the Changshu plant is the fourth DuPont facility that has installed commercial production units using DuPont Echelon technology". The others are in the Netherlands, Japan, and at DuPont Washington Works near Parkersburg.

This month DuPont Washington Works is celebrating 60 years of manufacturing in the Mid Ohio Valley.

You're Invited . . . .

On Thursday, Feb. 7, the Evergreen Arts & Humanities Series at Washington State Community College will present a lecture by Callie Lyons, a journalist in the Mid-Ohio Valley. The lecture will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Graham Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Lyons book, “Stain-resistant, Nonstick, Waterproof and Lethal: the Hidden Dangers of C8,” provides an evenhanded examination of the scientific evidence on all sides of the issue in language that is straightforward and easy to understand.

Her lecture includes old footage from the classic game show "To Tell the Truth" featuring Teflon inventor and native Ohioan, Roy Plunkett. Lyons intends to involve the audience in a kitchen experiment or two. These experiments will help even small children understand how C8 works in the manufacturing process and how difficult it could be to find a replacement substance.

According to Lyons, most consumers at large don't identify themselves as being contaminated. Items like Post-it notes, McDonald’s French fries, or the delicious and distinctive aroma of a bag of microwave popcorn all possess traces of C8. According to Lyons, most people don't realize that Ohioans have shaped the discussion and the controversy over Teflon and C8 from the beginning.

Lyons considers herself a historian, not necessarily an environmentalist, telling the story of how C8 has impacted on our lives. Her journalism career includes television, newspaper, and radio journalism, and she is currently the news director for WMOA/WJAW radio in Marietta, Ohio. Lyons work concerning C8 has earned her a reputation as a fair-minded writer concerned with the environment and equally concerned with the potential impact of negative journalism on the economy of the area she calls home. Recently, Lyons received the Uncovering the Truth Award from Ohio Citizen Action and the Associated Press of Ohio First Place distinction for Best Business Writer 2006.

(Source: WSCC Press Release)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

60 Years in the Mid Ohio Valley

"DuPont Washington Works rests on the banks of the Ohio River in Wood County, West Virginia on a tract of river bottom land conveyed to George Washington by Lord Dunmore in 1772. In 1945, DuPont purchased the land and construction was soon underway. Initial operations were started in January, 1948 with 171 employees who produced 1,782 pounds of nylon filament during the first month."

"While the plant itself is situated inside a 200-acre fenced complex, DuPont owns about 1500 additional acres in the Mid-Ohio Valley. With the DuPont corporation, Washington Works holds the distinction of being the only U.S. plant site of having a state park reside on plant property. The Blennerhassett Island State Park occupies the upper 1/3 of an Ohio River island adjacent to the plant. The State of West Virginia leases part of the island from DuPont. The park, rich in historical significance, is host to more than 40,000 visitors each year."

Source: DuPont Washington Works

Thursday, January 24, 2008

C8 Lingers in LHWA Distribution System

The Little Hocking Water Association mailed a notice to all its members informing them that C8 is still being detected in the distribution system despite the installation of a filtration plant to remove the manufacturing substance from drinking water supplies.

The new treatment plant went online a little more than two months ago around the beginning of November. Since that time, the carbon filtration material has already been changed out once.

LHWA says that the filtration plant appears to be working, but C8 remains in the distribution system because of past accumulations. Though water leaving the treatment facility is testing nondetect for C8, the chemical is being detected at levels ranging from 19 to 73 parts per trillion at various places throughout the distribution system.

The notice says until the water association has reliable data that establishes that C8 has been eliminated from the distribution system, consumers may be drinking or otherwise using water containing C8 – and doing so at their own risk of possible health effects.

Read Callie's story on WMOA

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Minnesota DOH Draft Health Risk Limits

The following draft rules were released by the Minnesota Department of Health on January 15, 2008.

• The health effects of concern for PFOS are effects on the liver and thyroid.
• The health effects of concern for PFOA are effects on the liver and slowed development of fetuses, reduced number of red blood cells, and changes to the immune system.
• Doses of concern are based on the level of PFC in the blood (serum) of animals that is associated with health effects.
• The exposure value for water intake encompasses 95 percent of the United States population averaged from birth through the age at which the PFC level in blood remains stable.
• PFOA and PFOS each have a HRL value of 0.3 ug/L* in drinking water.

*0.3 parts per billion

View the entire document: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/groundwater/hrlgw/finalreport011508.pdf

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Italian Study Raises New Questions About C8 Exposure from Teflon

A new study from Italy seems to indicate that C8 migrates into food from Teflon more easily than estimated by U.S. scientists.

Although PFOA or perfluorooctanoic acid can be found in the blood of most people in very small amounts, it's been claimed for some time that Teflon was not a significant contributor to human exposure. It's also been thought that C8 migration into food from Teflon coated products was most likely to occur once the cookware had been damaged in some way or when the coating began to degrade. The new findings seem to fly in the face of those old claims.

The Italian study concludes that C8 migration into food can "take place in the first phases of container use and not only from containers abused by kitchen tools or otherwise scratched". The researchers concluded that the study does not agree with prior results because the newer study uses a better extraction system.