February 20, 2016 | by Jeffrey Saulton

PARKERSBURG – After the announcement of elevated levels of C-8 in the water supplies for the city of Vienna, the Keep Your Promises DuPont group called for the company to be held accountable.

In a press release, the group said it applauded Vienna officials for announcing the results and their action to monitor the situation.

“Vienna Mayor Randy Rapp reported that sampling of Vienna drinking water has revealed C-8 contamination in excess of 0.1 parts per billion, which is the EPA’s guideline for C-8 contamination in drinking water,” the group stated. “We appreciate the mayor’s transparent and speedy efforts to address this issue, and we support any solution that makes Vienna’s water safe to drink.”

Keep Your Promises added it supports any solution to remove the chemical.

Robin Ollis Stemple, regional public affairs manager for The Chemours Company, the successor company to DuPont after the performance plastics division was spun off as a separate company, said the company is willing to cooperate.

“We have been in contact with the U.S. EPA about the very low levels of PFOA in the drinking water of Vienna, W.Va., and we will cooperate with the agency as appropriate,” she said.

According to findings from the C-8 Medical Panel in 2012, it was determined that exposure to the chemical used in Teflon manufacturing at the Washington Works plant at Washington, W.Va., has a probable link to kidney cancer, testicular cancer, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, pregnancy induced hypertension, including preeclampsia and hypercholesterolemia.

On Friday the group sent a letter signed by Dr. Paul Brooks, Harold Bock and Joe Kiger, members of the Keep Your Promises DuPont Advisory Committee, to elected officials and state environmental officials in West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky to urge immediate filtration of drinking water and the institution of medical monitoring where testing reveals C-8 contamination at or above 0.001 parts per billion.

“We are writing to you today because of new findings that the levels of C-8 contamination prevalent in drinking water throughout our region are harmful to public health,” the letter stated. “We and all of your constituents require immediate action to address this public health emergency.”

In their view, the group said expanded filtering and medical monitoring is the only way to protect area residents.

“Just a decade ago, DuPont was forced to filter drinking water in Little Hocking, Belpre, Pomeroy, Tuppers Plains, Lubeck and Mason County to remove harmful levels of C-8 contamination resulting from the company’s decades-long practice of dumping C-8 into the Ohio River and landfills where it leached into the water we drink every day,” the press release said. “Our water must be filtered as well, and DuPont, the company that contaminated it, must be held accountable.

“According to the latest science, released last year by leading researchers from Harvard and the University of Massachusetts, C-8 exposure is harmful at levels as low as 0.001 parts per billion, less than a teaspoon in an Olympic-sized pool,” the group said. “At levels that low, it’s safe to say that the only safe level of C-8 in water and human blood is zero.”

Keep Your Promises said it is urging officials in communities along the Ohio River, as far away as Cincinnati, to test drinking water for C-8.

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