Research: WVU’s work lays foundation for future

Perfluoroalkyl chemicals, including the C8 that has contaminated some water supplies in West Virginia and Ohio, can be harmful to health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns. Mid-Ohio Valley residents did not need the federal government to tell them that.

What may have come as a surprise, though, is that they also may help adults who suffer from diabetes and have coronary heart disease, according to researchers at West Virginia University.

As we reported, no one is suggesting PFAS, by which the chemical family has come to be known, ought to be infused into drinking water. In fact, there is work to be done to get it OUT of our water supply. But the WVU researchers’ work suggests more exploration is needed into how the chemicals work and whether, used judiciously, they may be helpful in treating some health conditions. It is an important example of finding out all we can, and not going into a study with a set outcome in mind.

And the study, linked to more comprehensive national investigations of C8, is one more example of the truly exciting, important work being done at WVU. Our state university is engaged in cutting-edge, innovative research in many subjects. In health care alone, WVU is a recognized leader in finding solutions to critical health care concerns.

In addition to improving lives and alleviating suffering, WVU researchers are laying the foundation for building the state’s economy. That alone is reason for legislators to ensure the university gets the support it needs. And for those who dole out federal funding to keep WVU in mind, too.