As discussed in the previous post, a scientific panel that was assembled as part of a 2005 class-action lawsuit settlement recently released some of its findings. The panel was assembled to study the possible health effects of exposure to a chemical present at and released by a DuPont plant in West Virginia. The chemical is called C8, and also referred to as Perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA.
The panel said that there is a probable link between C8 and pregnancy-induced hypertension, or pre-eclampsia. The panel said that they did not find, however, a link between exposure to the chemical and birth defects, low birth weights, premature births, miscarriages or stillbirths.
The panel found that former workers at DuPont died at a higher rate from kidney diseases, kidney cancer and mesothelioma. They also believe that exposure to C8 may raise cholesterol levels, which could lead to heart disease. The panel also did a study on a possible link between PFOA and thyroid disease in the Mid-Ohio Valley and found a positive association between cumulative amounts of PFOA in the blood and thyroid disease.
DuPont is planning to phase out use of the chemical by 2015. The company said in a press release that it doesn’t believe that C8 exposure causes preeclampsia, but the lead attorney in the class action finds that disingenuous because each side in the case took part in choosing the scientific experts for the panel, according to The Record.
Source: The West Virginia Record, “C8 panel finds link between DuPont chemical, preeclampsia,” Jessica M. Karmasek, Dec. 6, 2011