Charleston, W.Va. (AP) -- A study on whether a chemical used to produce teflon affects human health shows the chemical may be linked to changes in the immune system.
The findings are the latest to be issued by a three-member science panel.
The court-appointed panel is looking at blood samples and health histories of some 70,000 Mid-Ohio Valley residents who live near DuPont's Washington Works chemical plant near Parkersburg.
The studies are part of a lawsuit settlement with DuPont.
DuPont Friday responded with a statement saying, in part:
"The Science Panel's work is ongoing, and no conclusions on causation can be drawn at this time . Further, as stated in the Science Panel status report , “…the magnitude of the changes across the observed exposure range is small and most values remain within normal ranges...the associations found between these immune biomarkers and PFOA do not necessarily indicate that PFOA is the cause of the changes observed."
In Thursday's court filing, the panel said there appears to be a link between the Chemical C8 and the level of disease-fighting antibodies in the blood.
However, the panel noted additional research would be needed to determine if high levels of C8 caused the changes.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)