Thursday, March 26, 2009

C8 Science Panel Releases Updates on Three Studies

Callie interviews Dr. David Savitz - one of three epidemiologists on the C8 Science Panel.

(Thanks to Bill White of OffWhite Salter for the photo.)

All three members of the C8 Science Panel were in Vienna, West Virginia this morning to discuss their latest findings with the local media.

You can view the latest information on their half-life exposure study, immune study, and pregnancy outcome study here:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

ATSDR: Don't let your babies drink the water . . .

New advice from the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry indicates that parents who live near Parkersburg, West Virginia should purchase pre-mixed baby formula instead of mixing powdered formula with water contaminated with C8.

While research is ongoing to determine whether human health is negatively impacted by exposure to the manufacturing substance, the agency cited developmental effects as “the most sensitive adverse response to PFOA exposure”.

Based on their concerns, the agency advises local people to reduce exposure for vulnerable populations (pregnant women, women of childbearing age, children and seniors) as much as possible. It also states that it is prudent public health practice for caregivers in the area to reduce infant exposure by using only premixed baby formula.

The directive was issued to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources on February 10. Two ATSDR officials were charged with the responsibility of assisting the West Virginia Department of Public Health in communicating the message to area residents and helping them understand the recommendations.

Considering that the directive was not made public by either of the agencies involved, it is not clear exactly how they intended to communicate the recommendations to impacted residents.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

WVDEP Fines DuPont for Discharging "Unpermitted Pollutants"

DuPont is facing a fine in excess of $1.6 million for environmental violations and exceedance of state permits at the Washington Works wastewater treatment facility and two closed landfills in Wood County.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection found that the local plant violated the Water Pollution Control Act and the Solid Waste Management Act. An administrative consent order signed this week is intended to settle violations that were observed by the state agency from 2004 to 2008.

The funds will go to the state’s Water Quality Management Fund.

DuPont is required to immediately report any spills to the agency by means of a designated spill hotline, but in May 2006 the company failed to do so after discharging 2,487 pounds of Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene liquid. FEP is a Teflon application manufactured with the controversial chemical known as C8 or PFOA.*

In other instances, DEP says spills were reported, but resulted in violations because the company is prohibited from releasing unpermitted pollutants into state waters. Storm water and landfill violations were also cited in the consent order.

*According to DuPont's own internal correspondence. FEP is used in Teflon applications for flexible products like tubing, plastic sheeting, and o-rings.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

EPA Limits C8 in MOV Drinking Water

The EPA is tightening the restriction on C8 in drinking water.

The federal agency issued a consent order today lowering the action level for the manufacturing chemical in public water supplies to 0.4 parts per billion. That’s down from the 0.5 parts per billion prescribed by the agency in 2006. The consent order was prompted by a recent provisional health advisory for C8 - the first of its kind from the EPA.

The new action level is intended to reduce levels of PFOA exposure for people who live in the Mid Ohio Valley near DuPont Washington Works while the EPA completes research and a risk assessment on the chemical's impact on public health.

The new order means that DuPont will have to perform additional testing of surrounding areas to insure that public and private water systems do not contain C8 levels exceeding 0.4 parts per billion.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Brownrigg Documentary

There's quite a bit of C8 news to catch up on, but in the meantime here's a link to a preview of a documentary by WOUB's Kirsten Brownrigg: