The Little Hocking Water Association is notifying consumers that the chemical DuPont is using to replace C8 or PFOA has been detected in pretreated water. The substance known as GenX was adopted by DuPont as a replacement in the manufacture of Teflon and hundreds of other applications after C8 was shown to be harmful to human health. Specifically, a study of Mid-Ohio Valley residents found a probable link between C8 exposure and kidney cancer, testicular cancer, thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis, pre-eclampsia and high cholesterol.
In February, GenX was detected at level of 32 parts per trillion in pretreated water from the Little Hocking wellfield. At the same time treated water was non-detect for GenX. High levels of GenX discovered at and around a North Carolina manufacturing facility prompted the US EPA to require this round of testing.
Chemours, formerly DuPont Washington Works, is located directly across the Ohio River from the Little Hocking wellfield. GenX has already been detected in four wells on the Washington Works property – three production wells and one on-site drinking water well. The substance is not regulated by the EPA and there is a lack of toxicological information on GenX, which is in the same family of chemicals as C8. Some studies have classified GenX as a suspected human carcinogen.
As a result of litigation brought over C8 contamination, DuPont constructed six community filtration systems including one for the Little Hocking Water Association. The detection of GenX in the Little Hocking wellfield is raising questions about whether or not the filtration systems put in place will be sufficient to remove GenX from the water.
“There are scientific concerns about the long term effectiveness of carbon treatment at removing GenX from public water supplies,” states a press release from the Little Hocking Water Association. “As of this date, there is a serious question as to whether the kind of carbon filtration used at Little Hocking will effectively remove any GenX before it enters your drinking water.”
The statement says the water association is working to better understand the scope of the GenX contamination. Updates will be posted to the LHWA website at littlehockingwater.org.