PARKERSBURG - A hearing has been scheduled for Monday afternoon in Wood County Circuit Court for a status report on the C8 Science Panel's remaining probable link study reports.
The parties in the settlement of the C8 lawsuit recently received a letter from the panel seeking a three-month extension for filing some of the final reports, which were scheduled to all be turned in by the end of July. The panel does plan to submit the rest of the reports, not included in the extension request by July 31.
Judge J.D. Beane will preside at Monday's hearing.
In a letter dated June 22, the panel requested three more months to complete the final series of reports on liver, kidney and heart disease, hypercholesterolia, hypertension, osteoarthritis and Parkinson's disease.
The other reports, slated for release by July 31, relate to asthma, COPD, stroke, infectious disease, thyroid disease, several auto-immune diseases and neurological development in children, according to the letter from the science panel.
DuPont officials said Tuesday they had no comment on the matter.
Washington resident Joe Kiger was one of the lead defendants in the original lawsuit filed against DuPont Washington Works relating to the discharge of C8 into the water supplies of six area water districts.
Kiger said the delay is a double-edged sword for him.
"While it is kind of disheartening to have to wait another three months. It's already been so many years we've spent on this, three more months really doesn't seem like that much. At least there's a light at the end of the tunnel," Kiger said. "It is kind of frustrating. If there are probable links, we need to get the information out there so these people can get help. The longer we go, the worse it's going to get," Kiger said.
In December 2011, the panel released its first set of probable cause findings, announcing it found a probable link between PFOA exposure and pregnancy-induced hypertension, including preeclampsia. In April, the panel announced it found a probable link between exposure to C8 and testicular and kidney cancer. There were no suggestions of probable link findings for 19 other cancers including liver, pancreas or breast, and no probable link was found between C8 and adult onset Type II Diabetes.
A "probable link" is defined in the class action lawsuit settlement agreement as "given the available scientific evidence, it is more likely than not that among class members a connection exists between PFOA exposure and a particular human disease."
A settlement was reached in 2005 in the class action filed on behalf of residents in six water districts against DuPont Washington Works. The six water districts were Little Hocking, Belpre, Lubeck, Tuppers Plains, Pomeroy and Mason County. The suit stemmed from DuPont's discharge of C8, which is used in the manufacture of Teflon and other non-stick products, into local drinking water supplies. As part of the settlement, the mutually agreed upon three-member science panel was named and charged with independently and comprehensively evaluating all available scientific data relating to PFOA to determine whether there is a link between C8 exposure and serious human disease.