GenX community forum gives some answers, creates more questions

GenX community forum gives some answers, creates more questions

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A panel of experts responded to questions about GenX at a community forum Wednesday night.

Over 300 people showed up to the Coastal Convention Center to ask questions and listen to what the panel had to say.

The panel included water and health experts, including UNCW professors, an attorney, a pediatrician, and the Cape Fear River Keeper.

Perhaps the most important takeaway from Wednesday's meeting was the discussion surrounding other toxins in the water.

Dr. Larry Cahoon, a professor at UNCW said that some of the other chemicals in the drinking water measured at much higher levels than GenX.

"When you drink the tap water, you are drinking a cocktail of compounds. Not one, a cocktail of them," said Cahoon.

Cahoon also noted that GenX is relatively well studied compared to these other, lesser-known compounds.

"There's essentially nothing known about their human health effect," Cahoon said.

Each of the experts had a chance to address the crowd, followed by a question-and-answer session.

Water expert Robert Bowcock, who works with environmental advocate Erin Brockovich, joined the session via Skype to share his knowledge on water treatment facilities.

The panel did their best to provide the crowd with answers, from legal questions to filtering options.

One woman who attended said she left understanding the science of it better, but is still not understanding the logistics of it.

"How do you get the word out? How do you get to the people who can't come to these kinds of things, and there are a lot of people in the area who can't," said Delthea Simmons.

The panel stressed that while there were answers they could provide Wednesday night, this is not a quick fix, and there are many questions that still do not have answers.

"Why did we find this out so much later than it was known with the folks at the public utility authority? Why didn't Chemours disclose that they were discharging this chemical into our drinking water supply?," asked Cape Fear River Keeper Kemp Burdette.

The panel urged everyone in attendance to continue to demand answers and transparency from CFPUA, Chemours, and local officials.

Below is a PDF of some of the most important questions and answers from Wednesday's meeting.  

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