PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — Starting this week, tens of thousands of Mid-Ohio Valley whose drinking water was contaminated by the DuPont Co. chemical C8 can apply for free blood tests and medical screenings to uncover illnesses that could be related to toxic exposure, lawyers for the residents announced Tuesday.

The $235 million C8 medical monitoring program was created as part of a class-action lawsuit settlement with DuPont over the company’s pollution of Parkersburg-area drinking-water supplies with C8 from its Washington Works facility. Water districts affected included the Lubeck Public Service District, the Little Hocking Water Association, the city of Belpre, Ohio, Tuppers Plains-Chester Water District, the village of Pomeroy, Ohio, and the Mason County Public Service District.

C8 has been linked to kidney cancer, testicular cancer, ulcerative colitis and thyroid disease. C8 is another name for perfluorooctanoate acid, or PFOA. In West Virginia, DuPont has used C8 since the 1950s as a processing agent to make Teflon and other nonstick products, oil-resistant paper packaging and stain-resistant textiles.

Details about the medical testing will be included in information packets being mailed to members of the affected residents. Information also is available online, at, or by calling 1-888-499-2553.

“Today’s official rollout of the C8 medical monitoring program marks the culmination of several years of intensive, independent scientific research into the impact of DuPont’s C8 pollution on the tens of thousands of area residents who unwittingly were exposed to that toxic chemical in their drinking water,” said Rob Bilott, an attorney for the residents.

The director of the medical monitoring program will hold meetings to discuss the effort. The meetings will be Sept. 22 at 1 p.m., at the Historic Lowe Hotel in Point Pleasant, and at 6 p.m., at Meigs County High School, as well as Sept. 23 at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m., at the Blennerhassett Hotel in Parkersburg, and at 6 p.m., at Belpre High School.