Ohio Water Company Says DuPont Contaminating SupplyJul 4, 2004 | AP An Ohio utility says its water supply is contaminated with a chemical used at a nearby DuPont plant and customers should use it at their own risk.
The Little Hocking Water Association sent notices to its customers Wednesday, warning them that the water contains levels of C8 that may pose serious health risks.
DuPont's Washington Works plant in West Virginia has been using C8, also referred to as ammonium perfluorooctanoate, since the 1950s as part of its manufacturing process, which includes Teflon.
Residents in West Virginia and southeast Ohio sued DuPont in August 2001, claiming C8 releases have contaminated their water supplies. A trial on the class-action lawsuit is expected to begin in September.
"The Board of Trustees and staff of Little Hocking, together with its consultants and lawyers, are working hard to obtain complete information related to C8 and the scope of contamination, including the possibility of other contaminants," Robert L. Griffin, the association's general manager, wrote in Wednesday's letter.
"Little Hocking is also researching alternative sources of water and possible treatment options. Nevertheless, please be aware that, until a resolution to this problem is secured, you are drinking or otherwise using water containing C8 and that you do so knowing of possible health risks."
DuPont spokeswoman Robin Ollis said the company stands by a Wednesday news release that repeats its position that there is no scientific evidence that C8 causes cancer, developmental problems or any other adverse health effects in humans.
The company's news release quotes Washington Works plant manager Paul Bossert, who said he looked forward to September's trial "where relevant evidence will be presented."