WVXU: Concern over PFAS in our water may not be over

UC scientist discusses impact of drinking water pollutants in region and nation

The recent movie “Dark Waters” continues to drive conversations about pollutants in the nation’s drinking water. The environmental thriller is based off of the real story of Cincinnati attorney Robert Bilott and an environmental lawsuit he brought against one of the world’s largest chemical companies, DuPont. It was filmed in our region and its subject matter has raised concerns about PFOA, also known as perfluorooctanoic acid, and PFAS, also known as polyfluoroalkyl substances.

Susan Pinney, a professor in the UC Department of Environmental Health and director of the UC Center for Environmental Genetics, has studied the impact of PFOA and PFAS for much of her professional career. She joined Cincinnati Edition to discuss health concerns associated with these pollutants along with officials from the Sierra Club Gender, Equity and Environment Program and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

UC’s Pinney authored a 2017 study that found that residents of the Mid-Ohio River Valley (from Cincinnati north to Huntington, West Virginia) had higher than normal levels of PFOA based on blood samples collected over a 22-year span. The exposure source was likely from drinking water contaminated by the industrial discharges upriver described in “Dark Waters.”

Listen to Pinney’s Cincinnati Edition segment.

Learn more about Pinney’s research online.

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