By Pamela Brust, Special to The Times
VIENNA, W.Va. — Officials with Brookmar Inc., coordinator of the C8
Health Project, announced Tuesday an additional 1,500 eligible
participants are being invited to take part in the blood tests in the
Receipt of questionnaires required for the testing
was closed Feb. 2 when it appeared the goal of 70,000 participants in
the six eligible water districts had been met. However, after a number
of individuals did not report, they were deemed not qualified to
participate, found to have moved, died, or declined to be tested,
openings became available. After re-evaluating the project, Brookmar
officials said they determined they could reopen the project and take
an additional 1,500 people.
To be eligible to participate, one
must have lived, worked or attended school for 12 months prior to Dec.
3, 2004, within one of the six eligible water districts: Lubeck or
Mason County in West Virginia, or Little Hocking, Belpre, Tuppers
Plains and Chester in Ohio.
“We have close to 68,000 with
questionnaires. As of this weekend we’ve processed about 63,000 of that
number that have gone through now. We know some will be disqualified or
won’t show, that’s why we think we can take another 1,500 and be
budget-neutral,” said Dr. Paul Brooks of Brookmar. Officials agreed
this is the largest health study of its kind in the valley, possibly in
“The impact is that in the Lubeck/Belpre/Little
Hocking areas we completed 52,280 people, that amounted to nearly $21
million that was put in this economy in cash on the payments of $400
each to these individuals. While at full capacity, we had 54
individuals employed and that payroll was $1.8 million. So, this
project put close to $23 million in this economy in less than a year,”
The project also identified a number of serious health risks for some local individuals.
know of at least two examples of health problems that were discovered
with this project. I’m sure there are people whose lives will be saved
by this project,” said Wood County Commissioner Bob Tebay, whose
business on the southside, was the testing location for the Lubeck
site. That site has since been closed down. The other sites will remain
open for the additional 1,500 who will be tested.
“We had close
to 50 cases flagged by the laboratory as having life-threatening
conditions. They were contacted and their physicians immediately,”
Brooks said for the additional testing, the
project’s Web site will be reopened and questionnaires will be
available online, and there will be questionnaires available at the
project`s Vienna office.Once Brookmar gets the 1,500 questionnaires
returned, no more will be taken. Participants are paid $150 for the
completed, signed questionnaire and $250 for the blood testing.
Maher with Brookmar said the project will store the blood serum
collected. This was not part of the settlement agreement, but he said
they asked to be able to do this and it was agreed this would be done,
so the blood samples will be available for future research.
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