From: Associated Press
Published January 13, 2006 12:00 AM

Chemical Traces Found in U.S. Bottled Water Given as Substitute for Tainted Tap Water

MARIETTA, Ohio — Bottled water provided to residents whose tap water was tainted with a chemical used to make Teflon has tested positive for trace amounts of the same substance, a lawyer and the bottling company owner said.


The chemical traces were discovered by a rural southeastern Ohio water system whose customers were among about 1,000 people receiving the bottled water under a 2004 lawsuit settlement with DuPont Co., said water system attorney David Altman.


The class-action lawsuit by Ohio and West Virginia residents accused DuPont of hiding and lying about the health threat posed by perfluorooctanoic acid and its salts, known as C8, from a plant near Parkersburg, West Virginia.


A study of about 325 residents supplied by the Little Hocking Water Association found C8 levels 80 times higher than normal, according to the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.


A draft report from an Environmental Protection Agency panel found that C8 is "likely" carcinogenic. DuPont, based in Wilmington, Delaware, says C8 poses no human health threat.


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The bottled water showed C8 levels at 13 to 17 parts per trillion. The well supply that provides tap water to Little Hocking customers contained 3,500 parts per trillion to 7,200 parts per trillion.


The water association found the trace chemicals in the bottled spring water when it was used to assess the accuracy of testing methods used on the tap water, Altman said.


Crystal Spring Water owner Gary Matheny confirmed that its own tests also found the chemical in its bottled water.


Under the lawsuit settlement, DuPont agreed to supply the bottled water until it installs filters at well-water treatment plants to remove C8.


DuPont is paying Crystal Spring to provide water until the filters are installed. Matheny said the bottling company will install its own filter at the nearby spring it uses across the Ohio River in West Virginia.


DuPont uses C8 in making products including nonstick cookware, auto fuel systems, computer chips and clothing.


Source: Associated Press


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