Thursday, May 19, 2011

"Why not sooner?" asks Judge Beane

A Wood County judge expressed frustration with the C8 Science Panel in a status hearing on Wednesday over the time it is taking for the experts to reach a conclusion in the landmark study of the industrial chemical’s impact on the health of local people.
The science panel is charged with deciding whether or not C8 can be linked to human disease. Their decision will determine the outcome of the class action lawsuit against DuPont over the manmade substance, which is used in the manufacture of Teflon and thousands of other consumer products. After more than fifty years of use at DuPont Washington Works near Parkersburg, W.Va., C8 or PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) was detected in several area water systems – public and private.

Under the terms of the settlement, if C8 is found to be linked to human disease, DuPont will fund a $235 million medical monitoring program for class members.

The settlement agreement was reached in 2004. The following year, the C8 Health Project got underway and by the end of July 2006 the massive project coordinated by Brookmar, Inc. engaged the population and collected nearly 70,000 medical histories and blood samples for the study. The data was turned over to the C8 Science Panel in April 2008. Since that time, the panel of three epidemiologists have been conducting additional sampling, performing follow-up testing, and verifying medical histories to build the body of evidence to reach a “more likely than not” conclusion about the link between C8 and human disease. A final answer is expected next year.

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