PARKERSBURG – Documents filed recently with Wood County Circuit Court include progress reports dating back to 2005 for the independent C8 Science Panel.
The three-member panel was appointed by the court to review community epidemiology studies and studies of DuPont Washington Works employees to determine whether there could be links between C8 and human health.
C8 is an unregulated chemical used in the manufacturing process for Teflon. Plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit alleged C8 that DuPont Washington Works discharged into area water supplies caused ill health effects. As part of a settlement in the suit, the science panel, agreed to by plaintiffs and DuPont, was to investigate whether there is a “probable link” between C8 and human health.
Circuit Judge J.D. Beane this week conducted a private meeting with members of the science panel regarding its progress. The progress reports, which were filed with a variety of other court documents, have not previously been made public.
“The agreement states written or oral progress reports are to be made to the parties; they are not required to be provided to the court,” said plaintiffs’ attorney Harry Deitzler. “The meeting was scheduled with the science panel and the court; it was my intention in filing the documents to be sure the court had all the relevant documents in front of him in the event any questions arose.”
A summary notes the studies that will be conducted. One study focuses on C8 levels in the community, adult cholesterol levels related to C8 levels and diabetes in relation to C8 levels. This study is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
A second study, also expected to be finished this year, will include reports on immune markers and cancer prevalence. A report on non-cancer diseases is planned to be ready in the latter part of 2010.
“Taken together with all the other data in the literature, these last studies… should form the basis for making a decision about probable link between them and C8 in 2011,” according to the report.
The third and fourth community and worker studies should be done in 2011. Studies five and six deal with birth outcomes and C8 health project data on births. These are to be completed in 2009.
The seventh study deals with geographic patterns of cancer and is on target for completion in 2010. An eighth study is a followup of immune, liver, kidney and endocrine function, with results expected in 2010. Study nine is an exposure study. It has been delayed about a year, with results expected in late 2009.
The 10th study, to be completed in 2011, examines C8 levels after installation of water filters in the Lubeck, W.Va., and Little Hocking water districts. Study 11 deals with neurobehavioral development in children and should be completed in 2011.