Sustained Outrage

Judge sets hearing with C8 Science Panel

Wood Circuit Judge J.D. Beane has scheduled an unusual hearing for tomorrow afternoon in Parkersburg … the hearing is billed as a “status conference” in the landmark case in which DuPont agreed to fund an in-depth review (subscription requited) of the potential human health impacts of its chemical, C8.

Present will be lawyers for DuPont and for the thousands of residents whose water supply was contaminated with C8 from the company’s Washington Works plant outside Parkersburg. Also present, I understand, will be all three members of the C8 Science Panel, which is charged under the court settlement with determining if there is a link between C8 exposure and adverse health effects.

Importantly, if the Science Panel concludes there is a probable link, then DuPont is on the hook for up to $235 million to fund future medical monitoring for residents who drank the C8-contaminated water.

Already, DuPont expects to have spent $32 million to fund the Science Panel between 2009 and the end of this year, according to the company’s most recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Perhaps the judge is going to ask Science Panel members to explain exactly how far along they are toward making their “probable link” determination.

Regular readers know that the Science Panel has published a number of reports that found associations between C8 exposure and adverse health effects, including high cholesterol, hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases, immune system changes, birth defects and high blood pressure in pregnant womenelevated cholesterol levels in children and teens, early puberty in children, and Attention Deficit/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Learning Disorder among children.

Other recent studies have also found C8 to be associated with, among other things, early menopause in women, and thyroid problems. The law firm of Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee & Deitzler, which represents residents in the case, has posted a new collection of C8 health studies on its website.  You can search them chronologically or by toxic endpoint.

The  Science Panel’s current timeline calls for it to be continuing its work on other studies of C8’s impacts through sometime next year.