Professor answers questions at Wilmington forum on Genx

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WNCN) — GenX isn’t a new chemical. N.C. State University Professor Detlef Knappe confirmed Chemours has been discharging it into the Cape Fear River since 1980.

Recently, it was found in residential drinking wells around the company’s Fayetteville plant.

At least 36 homeowners have been receiving bottled water from Chemours.

“Its new emerging chemicals and that,” Mike Watters, a Fayetteville homeowner said.

CBS North Carolina first introduced viewers to Watters Wednesday night.

After Chemours and the state tested Watters well. He said he paid $800 to have a more-comprehensive, independent test done.

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GenX, along with dozens of other chemicals, were found in Watters drinking water. He and his family traveled to Wilmington Thursday evening to attend a forum with leading experts on GenX.

“I’ve been advocating to broaden the list of chemicals that are being looked at in those wells. But there is also a challenge, and the challenge is that we don’t have standards for all of those other flourochemicals,” Knappe, the N.C. State professor, said.

Knappe and his team were the first to identify and study GenX. His theory is that that chemical and others somehow made it into the atmosphere, then the ground water and soil. He told CBS North Carolina it’s likely the 1.5-mile radius now in place around Chemours will expand.

“For the drinking water I would filter it with an under-the-sink reverse osmosis filter. But I would bathe in the water,” Knappe said.

“Some of the wells are 80 foot deep, that have come up positive and one of them is a hundred foot deep, so how shallow can it get down to?” Watters said.

Watters told CBS North Carolina he plans to test his well again at the end of the month. He’ll be passing along the results to Knappe and his team.

Knappe couldn’t comment on the health effects of GenX because they aren’t known. He said N.C. State has just received an NIH grant and will be looking into it.

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