By Callie Lyons, firstname.lastname@example.org
The level of interest expressed by the public and
interested parties in next week's U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency public hearing on the manufacturing chemical
known as C8 has caused the hearing to be extended by an hour.
The hearing, which was scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. June
6, will begin an hour earlier, at noon, to accommodate the
large amount of information that will be presented on the
chemical known to scientists as PFOA, said Mary Dominiak, EPA
specialist, in a telephone interview Tuesday.
The hearing is the next step in the agency's process of
evaluating the risks of C8 and determining the future handling
of the chemical. The EPA has been investigating the toxicity
of the chemical, which has been found to cause reproductive
and developmental problems in laboratory animals. But, the
only conclusion drawn so far is that considerable scientific
uncertainty remains regarding potential risks.
The objective of the meeting is to develop enforceable
consent agreements, which could lead to more specific
guidelines regarding the future management and testing of the
The hearing is significant to many Washington County
residents, since C8 has been detected in the water supplies of
many who live just across the Ohio River from the Washington, W.Va., DuPont
plant which emits the chemical into the air and water in the
process of manufacturing Teflon.
Ben Addy, of Lowell, will be following the EPA hearing
closely. Not only is he concerned with the potential effects
of exposure to the manufacturing chemical in the air and
water, but he claims an incident of polymer fume fever kept
him in the hospital for 10 days in 1977.
"Teflon kills birds, and it makes old men sick, too," said
Addy, who said he became extremely ill after welding Teflon
skids while working on the Willow Island power plant more than
25 years ago. "There was no smell or anything but that evening
I got the worst cold I've ever had in my life. I was out of my
head for days in the hospital with a temperature that reached
Addy worries about long-term health effects and is anxious
to find out what the agency determines about potential hazards
to humans from C8.
Although the public comment period has expired, input is
still welcome and will still be accepted by the agency. The
docket of information that has been presented to the EPA so
far is available on the Internet at www.epa.gov/edocket. The
collection of documents includes scientific studies, agency
documentation and correspondence from several local people.
Bob Griffin, director of the Little Hocking Water
Association, addressed the EPA regarding the rural nonprofit
organization that provides water to 12,000 people in western
Washington County and parts of Athens County. In 2002, C8 was
detected in all four of the water association's water supply
production wells in amounts ranging from 0.86 parts per
billion to 7.69 parts per billion. In his letter Griffin
states the amount of PFOA being delivered through the water
distribution system to his customers is about 2 parts per
"We are concerned about the potentially acute and chronic
exposure of our customers to C8," Griffin said. "They probably
have the highest exposure to this chemical of any people in
this country. They are exposed three ways: through everyday
products, their drinking water, and the very air they
Little Hocking Water Association is one of several local
groups on the list of interested parties that includes
manufacturing corporations, industry groups,
environmentalists, researchers, and other Teflon-related
concerns such as the Fire Fighting Foam Coalition. Along with
DuPont, the Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley, Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission,
Parkersburg-Wood County Area Development Corp., Tuppers
Plains-Chester Water District, United Bank of West Virginia,
and the West Virginia Class Action Plaintiffs are listed as
interested parties to the negotiations.
comments about C8
Contact reporter Callie Lyons with your comments and
concerns about the chemical known as C8 via e-mail at email@example.com,
or by phone 376-5462 before Tuesday. Your comments will be
submitted to the EPA at the June 6 public hearing.