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Student Receives National Recognition

A WVU Parkersburg journalism student and local author is getting national attention.

Author of “Stain-resistant, Nonstick, Waterproof and Lethal: The Hidden Dangers of C8,” Callie Lyons, recently shared her work with the Green Science Policy Institute at UC Berkeley on February 12, 2016.

The conference addressed the affects of harmful chemicals used in everday activites, and those that have caused water contamination, one of the biggest concerns being C8.

In the early 1950s, DuPont began using C8, also known as PFOA or perfluorooctanoic acid, to make Teflon at their Washington Works plant near Parkersburg. Over the next 30 years, numerous worker studies were done to determine the toxicity of C8, and in 1984 it had been confirmed that the chemical was contaminating local drinking water supplies in Lubeck and Little Hocking, Ohio.

In recent years, a variety of diseases such as kidney cancer, testicular cancer, ulcerative colitis, and thyroid disease have been linked to C8 exposure.

Published in 2007, Nonstick, Waterproof and Lethal: The Hidden Dangers of C8, Lyons said her book just started taking off last year after the Madrid statement, which documents the scientific consensus for potential harm caused by PFOAs such as C8, was published in May of 2015. “There are a lot of pro-industry factions who really don’t want to hear about the chemical exposure problem, because it’s a huge economic concern for jobs.” Lyons said.

Lyons’ inspiration to write about the C8 contamination came after she covered the story for several local publications including the Marietta Times, the Athens Messenger, and the Pomeroy Daily Sentinel.

“My neighbors in the valley deserved to know what was going on,” she said.

Her book on the dangers of C8 has brought a host of reporters to this area, where Lyons leads them on the “toxic tour” – a driving tour of some the region’s most polluted sites.

The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, the Investigative Fund, the Environmenal Working Group, and even the New York Times have referenced and quoted Lyons’ work.

“It’s kind of wild for me to have people referring to my work,” Lyons said.

This week, Lyons is very excited to be giving an international nature production company a tour of sites along the Ohio River for a series on water contamination.

If you are interested in learning more about C8 and water pollution, Stain Resistant, Nonstick, Waterproof, and Lethal: The Hidden Dangers of C8, is available on amazon, or you can visit Lyons’ blog at

by Rachael Green

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