Scientist looking for Bladen County ponds to test for GenX

By: Chrysta Carroll - Bladen Journal

RALEIGH — The scientist who discovered GenX is looking for ponds to test in Bladen County.

On Saturday, N.C. State environmental scientist Detlaf Knappe, who discovered the perflourinated chemical GenX in drinking water last year, said he is interested in studying surface water in the Mother County.

“I feel the private well owners — as well as the area in general — have been largely overlooked,” he commented. “The well water sampling done has basically been done by Chemours, and they share data with state, and the state has to share with homeowners. This has created frustration, because whole process is slow, and people are not getting answers they want.”

He added, “Right now, we still have an incomplete picture of what is actually in the water, because they’ve only agreed to test for three compounds … but we know there is other stuff in the water.”

Knappe said he would like to draw samples from area private or public ponds or lakes that are at least one mile distant from the Cape Fear River. To let Knappe know of surface water available for testing, interested persons may contact the scientist at N.C. State University through the main number at 919-515-2011.

The announcement follows closely on the heels of DEQ’s confirmation that GenX is airborne.

“We’ve known for quite some time this is true,” Knappe remarked.

A Request for Information from Chemours reveals that, in 2012, the DuPont company released approximately 821 pounds of perflourinated compounds into the air. Knappe speculated the compounds could travel as far as 20 miles before being deposited into the soil by humidity and precipitation.

“I think we need to more comprehensively assess these industrial water discharges — not just Chemours, but anywhere around state,” he remarked.

Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing

Chrysta Carroll

Bladen Journal