Agency asked to commence national study health impact of PFAS

PARKERSBURG – A federal agency has been asked to collaborate on a national study of the health affects of PFAS, of which C8 is part of the family of chemicals, otherwise lawsuits could be filed to force a study.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has been repeatedly asked to look into the impact of PFAS and attorney Robert Bilott, a lawyer in the federal C8 cases against DuPont, this week put the agency on notice that a suit could be filed within 60 days on behalf of Dr. Paul Brooks of Vienna and Jeffrey Hermes of Burlington, Ky.

“(The Environmental Protection Agency) acknowledged the risks posed by the entire family of PFAS in its ‘Long Chain Perfluorinated Chemicals (PFCs) Action Plan,’ which was released over seven years ago, but has never been fully implemented,” his letter to the agency said.

Brooks is an authority on C8 whose company, Brookmar, organized the health study into the impact of C8, also called PFOA, on 70,000 residents in the Mid-Ohio Valley. The science panel studying the results of the study said there was a probable link between C8, once used by DuPont at the Washington Works to make Teflon, and six diseases in humans.

The intent is not to redo the C8 study, but to expand that model to other chemicals in the broader and emerging PFAS chemical class, Bilott said.

Hermes is a prostate cancer survivor and a firefighter who has used PFAS-based firefighting foams and gear made or coated with such chemicals for more than 25 years.

“We remain hopeful that this matter can be resolved within the next 60 days without the need for pursuing any citizens suit,” Bilott said in the letter.

The goal is to help the agencies design studies using the PFOA study models for these other broader class of chemicals, he said.