Originally posted on StarNews by Steve DeVane on March 6, 2018.

Nearly all the 27 private wells tested in Robeson County for GenX have the potentially cancer causing compound, the county health director said today.

None of the wells have levels of GenX close to the state Department of Health and Human Services’ provisional health goal for the compound, according to Bill Smith, Robeson County’s health director Smith said GenX was detected in 25 of the wells, with the highest level showing 41.8 parts per trillion. The state’s health goal is to not exceed 140 parts per trillion.

Robeson County officials are testing wells in the Shaw Mill Road area between the Bladen County line and St. Pauls for GenX and two related compounds. The wells are about three miles from the Chemours plant, where GenX is made.

The wells with the highest detection of GenX were the closest to the plant, Smith said.

GenX is used to make nonstick cookware and other products. It has been linked to several forms of cancer in animal studies, but it isn’t known if the effect is the same in humans.

The two related compounds — PFOA and PFOS — also have detected in monitoring wells on the Chemours property and in private wells closer to the plant. The Environmental Protection Agency says on its website that exposure to the two compounds over certain levels may result in adverse health effects, including cancer and development issues for fetuses during pregnancy or to breastfed infants.

PFOA, an acronym for perfluorooctanoic acid, also is known as C8 because it has eight carbon atoms. PFOS, short for perfluorooctane sulfonate, also has eight carbon atoms.

The EPA has set a health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion for a combination of the two compounds.

Smith said 25 wells had PFOS, and 21 had PFOA. Only one well did not have one of the compounds and 26 had more than one, he said.

If you have a well contaminated by GenX, Nafion, PFOA, PFAS, or other chemicals

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If you own a well contaminated by GenX, Nafion, PFOA, PFAS, or other chemicals, our lawyers can advise you or your rights and remedies. Contact us by calling 303-861-8800, or by filling out the contact form below.