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Aug 05 2011

Science Panel indicates Exposure To DuPont’s C8 Increases Cancer Death

Posted in Product Liability

DuPont’s C8, also known as perfluorooctanoate acid, or PFOA, has been found to contain a multitude of health risks, says Alabama liability attorney Keith T. Belt

Workers at DuPont Co.’s  plants who were exposed to the chemical C8 were more likely to die from kidney cancer and other kidney diseases, according to the latest findings from a three-scientist panel studying C8‘s potential health effects. The C8 Science Panel found “significantly increased rates of death among the more highly exposed workers compared to low-exposed workers” for kidney cancer and nonmalignant, chronic kidney disease. In a summary report, the scientists said the increased deaths “could possibly be due to” C8 exposure because the kidney is one part of the body where the chemical is found.

Science Panel members issued two other reports: One found that increased C8 levels in the blood of Mid-Ohio Valley residents were associated with increases in a liver enzyme that can be an indicator of liver disease. The other discovered a potential link between C8 exposure and pre-eclampsia, or diabetes among pregnant women.

C8 is another name for perfluorooctanoate acid, or PFOA, and DuPont has used C8 since the 1950s as a processing agent to make Teflon and other nonstick products, oil-resistant paper packaging and stain-resistant textiles.

DuPont and other companies have reduced their emissions and agree on a voluntary phase-out of the chemical, but researchers remain concerned about a growing list of possible health effects and about the chemical’s presence in consumer products, as well as continued pollution from waste disposal practices.

The new report is the first study to identify any association between C8 exposure and pre-eclampsia. In its new liver-enzyme study, the Science Panel said the association with C8 exposure “is unlikely to be due to chance, as it is highly statistically significant.”