In June, 2004, the Little Hocking Water Association (“Little Hocking”) sent out a Notice reminding our members that drinking or otherwise using water contaminated with C8 may pose health risks.  Consistent with our efforts to keep our members apprised of C8 developments, we want to share some important recent information.
             

Little Hocking’s November 2004 Sampling Results
 
            The most recent sampling results of Little Hocking’s water (collected on November 29, 2004, which Little Hocking received on January 12, 2005) show that levels of C8 in our water supply continue to rise.  Levels of C8 in samples taken from Little Hocking’s production wells are as high as:

  18.6 parts per billion (ppb) in production well no. 5; 

  3.90 ppb in production well no. 3;

  9.89 ppb in production well no. 2; and

  9.03 ppb in production well no. 1. 
By comparison, the highest level reported in our June 2004 Notice of Contamination was 10.10 ppb in well no. 5.  Please remember that Little Hocking has not used well no. 5 since 2002.  However, due to sunken barges at the Belleville Locks and Dam, the Ohio River is dropping to abnormally low levels.  If the low river level causes Little Hocking’s production capacity to diminish, it may be necessary to activate well no. 5 in order to meet minimum water demands.  Should using well no. 5 become necessary for any reason, Little Hocking will provide a public notification so you have the option of taking additional precautions.
            The level of C8 in water entering our distribution system has been measured as high as 7.2 ppb.
            Little Hocking’s current C8 levels are either very close to or exceed C8 “safe levels” used by at least one state –  Minnesota. 
Minnesota’s Safe Level for C8
 
             Minnesota currently regards 7.0 parts per billion (ppb) as the maximum concentration of C8 in water that poses little or no risk to health.  Unlike West Virginia’s CATT-established protective screening level of 150 ppb, Minnesota’s value takes into consideration exposure routes other than drinking water.

           

            Even though Minnesota’s level is more protective than the West Virginia-established screening level, Minnesota’s value does not address higher exposures during childhood and effects on the elderly.  For example, if childhood exposures are considered, Minnesota’s “safe level” would drop below 7 ppb.
 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) Draft Risk Assessment for C8
           

            In another current development, on January 12, 2005, EPA released its “Draft Risk Assessment of the Potential Human Health Effects Associated With Exposure to Perfluorooctanoic Acid and Its Salts [C8]” (“Draft Risk Assessment”). While the Draft Risk Assessment does not establish a safe level for C8, at least one organization – the Environmental Working Group (“EWG”) – has taken the position that the Draft Risk Assessment dramatically underestimates human health risks associated with C8 exposure.  As one example, EWG points out that the Draft Risk Assessment discounts cancer risks by ignoring data linking C8 to various cancers (i.e. mammary, testicular, pancreatic, and liver).
 
            Little Hocking wants to be sure you are aware of both the Draft Risk Assessment and EWG’s questions about its protectiveness.  The Draft Risk Assessment can be found on the Internet at: http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/pfoa/pfoarisk.htm.  EWG’s analysis can be found at: http://ewg.org/issues/PFCs/20050112/scienceanalysis.php.
 
DuPont’s Worker Study
           

            On January 11, 2005, DuPont announced results of a recent health study it conducted of more than 1,000 DuPont Washington Works employees.   In the study, DuPont observed an approximate 10 percent increase in “bad cholesterol” (LDL) and a rise in triglycerides among some of the highest C8-exposed individuals.  According to the EWG website, the DuPont cholesterol finding “is the fourth in a string of studies conducted since 1994 pointing to excess risks for stroke and heart attack among workers exposed to [C8].”  DuPont’s press release states that “[t]he study data did not indicate that PFOA was or was not the cause of the increases in serum cholesterol and triglycerides.” 


Little Hocking’s Current Actions
 
            Considering the above information and the rising levels of C8 in our water, Little Hocking will seek immediate – within weeks, not months – action by DuPont to address these risks and uncertainties. Little Hocking maintains its longstanding position that C8 does not belong in its water. 
            Little Hocking remains committed to securing a resolution to the C8 issue.            Until the issue is resolved, Little Hocking believes that the information in this Notice will help our members to make more informed decisions about C8.
            To keep you apprised of the status of the issue, we will continue to post updated information on our website at www.littlehockingwater.org. You can also contact us for additional information:
                        Little Hocking Water Association, Inc

                        Attn: Robert L. Griffin

                        3998 State Route 124

                        P.O. Box 188

                        Little Hocking, OH 45742

                        (740) 989-2181
 
 
 
Please share this information with your medical advisors or other public health advisors and with all other people who drink Little Hocking’s water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.
            Little Hocking thanks you for your patience as we work toward a resolution of this issue.
 
 
                                                            Very Truly Yours,

                                                            Little Hocking Water Association, Inc.
 
 
 
                                                            By______________________________

                                                                   Robert L. Griffin, PE

                                                                   General Manager