From Staff Reports
WASHINGTON, W.Va. - DuPont officials Friday criticized
reports that Little Hocking area residents living near
Washington Works could have higher concentrations of C8 in
their blood than plant workers. DuPont Washington Works
Plant Manager Paul Bossert and Director of the DuPont Haskell
Laboratory for Health & Environmental Sciences Robert
Rickard said recent reports claiming that residents in some
Ohio communities may have concentrations of C8 in their blood
double that of employees who work with the chemical are
unrealistic, misleading and could raise unnecessary concern
among community residents.
C8, or ammonium perfluorooctanoate, is an essential process
aid used to manufacture fluoropolymer resins at the Washington
Works plant. The recent claims are based on a letter sent to
Ohio and federal environmental regulators by Rob Bilott, who
is leading a class action lawsuit against DuPont claiming that
C8 has harmed area residents and the environment.
DuPont disputes the claims and says it believes it will
prevail in court.
"There is absolutely no factual data to support the claim
that people living in communities near the Washington Works
site would have higher levels of C8 in their blood than would
DuPont employees actually working with C8," said Bossert. "On
the contrary, data from our own employees who live in the
community but do not work near C8 confirm that people in the
community have levels of C8 in their blood significantly lower
than employees who are exposed to C8 in the workplace. The
bottom line is that we have factual data that indicate that
the highest blood levels are in DuPont employees who work in
the C8 area, and we know that there have been no adverse
health effects seen in those employees."
Rickard, a board-certified toxicologist who oversees
DuPont's toxicology and industrial medicine programs, said the
model upon which the claims are based is theoretical and has
not been validated scientifically. "The model is clearly
inaccurate because its projections are higher than what we
know to be true based on more than 20 years of monitoring our
employees. I am confident that the projections in the model
are a significant over-estimation of potential blood levels in
Research is under way to determine whether a valid model
can be built, said Richard. The U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency is being updated on this regularly, said Rickard.
"The idea that DuPont would ever knowingly put the people
in the communities in which we operate in harm's way is
preposterous and contrary to the culture of DuPont, which puts
safety first always," said Bossert.
"We have every confidence that our operation at Washington
Works is safe for our employees and neighbors in the