UPDATE: Report On Exposure by DuPont Workers To C8

By: Todd Baucher Email
By: Todd Baucher Email

Updated 5/01/2012 5:30 P.M.

Concentrations of C8 in workers at two U.S. plants, one of which is DuPont Washington Works, have been outlined in a report just months before the C8 Science Panel's final findings are to be issued.

One of the authors of the report is Dr. Kyle Steenland, the Emory University epidemiologist who also is a member of the C8 Science Panel. It outlines measurements of worker exposure to the chemical also known as PFOA over a more than 30-year period beginning in the 1970's.

The exposure levels varied according to changes in their working environment, reflecting changes in the production areas of the plant. But one study it consulted found what the report calls a consistent 2-3% increase in PFOA in blood serum, suggesting an apparent body build-up of the chemical over time. that, it says, suggests pfoa may result in what it calls "a significant body burden in chronically-exposed workers."

The report goes on to say levels of the chemical in workers peaked in 2000, at roughly the same time use of C8 at Washington Works was at its highest level.

DuPont issued a statement saying the report does not reach any new findings about the effects of C8, adding it anticipates the science panel may author a number of papers, such as this one, describing portions of the body of work on which it bases its findings.

A previous study cited by the report mentioned that workers studied appeared to have higher cholesterol numbers due to exposure to C8.

The Science Panel's final report is due out by the end of July.


Updated: 4/16/2012 6:30 P.M.

The C8 Science Panel has found a link between the chemical used to make non-stick coatings, and two types of cancer. But that's two out of 23.

Out of nearly two dozen forms of cancer studied, the only two to which the science panel could find a probable link are testicular cancer and kidney cancer. Of the rest, only one showed a slight link.
"The only one showing a signal, and it was weak but reaching statistical significance, was prostate cancer," says Science Panel member Dr. Tony Fletcher. "That was not confirmed in the geographic analysis which was presented."

And those findings brought skepticism from one of the original class members, of the lawsuit filed in 2001, which claimed C8, or PFOA, caused illnesses in people living near DuPont's Washington Works plant. His concern is that kidney cancer, for which a probable link was found...can spread to other parts of a cancer patient's body.

"And this person also has liver cancer or another type of cancer," said original lawsuit class member Joe Kiger. "And if this cancer is in the same person, same body, same blood, how can that not be contributing?"

DuPont immediately released a statement saying it has reduced total emissions by more than 98% in its global manufacturing operations, as well as developing new ways to make fluoropolymers, or Teflon coatings, wthout using PFOA.

The final report of the court-ordered science panel is to be released in July. a separate medical panel will monitor the health of exposed residents.

"Our job was to gather a sufficient amount of scientific evidence to make a good judgement," says Dr. David Savitz, Science Panel Member. "And that's what we've done; we won't be revisiting these specific diseases within the job we're doing right now."

The panel also did not find a link between C8 and type two adult diabetes.

Harry Deitzler, the attorney representing the lawsuit class members, said the finding ensure DuPont will continue to fund water treatment systems installed to filter C8 in the areas included in the settlement between the company and residents back in 2005.


UPDATED: 4/16/2012

The C8 Science Panel says it has found a probable link between both kidney and testicular cancer.

It also says it has not found a probable link between C8 and other cancers or adult onset diabetes.

The following is Dupont's statement about the science panel's findings:

DuPont Statement

Today the Science Panel filed two “probable link” reports in connection with the West Virginia class action litigation. The Science Panel reports address type-II adult onset diabetes and cancer. The Science Panel found no probable link between PFOA and diabetes. The Science Panel found a probable link with two cancers (kidney and testicular), but found no probable link with the remaining nineteen categories of cancer evaluated.

The settlement defines the standard for “probable link” as whether it is more likely than not that PFOA exposure among class members is linked to a human disease. A probable link report does not mean that the Science Panel has concluded that PFOA exposure has caused or will cause any human disease among the class members as a whole, including the Washington Works employees, or any individual.

Consistent with our core values of health, safety and environmental stewardship and before any reports from the Science Panel, DuPont took actions to minimize PFOA exposure.

For decades, DuPont has had industrial hygiene measures in place to minimize worker exposures to PFOA. Data shows that these measures are effective. DuPont has reduced total PFOA emissions by more than 98 percent in our global manufacturing operations since 2000. We also have developed and commercialized new technologies to make fluoropolymers without using PFOA, and to make surface protection products that cannot break down to PFOA in the environment. Regulatory authorities around the world have affirmed that these products are safe for their intended uses.

DuPont will continue to meet its obligations under the West Virginia litigation. DuPont will evaluate additional information from the Science Panel as part of our long-standing commitment to the safety of our employees and customers and to responsible environmental and product stewardship.

Stay tuned to WTAP News and WTAP.COM for more information on these results. Read more about the Science panel findings by clicking on the Hot Button or on the link below.

New developments in the C8 settlement...as scientists studying the chemical plan to announce the latest findings.

DuPont and attorneys from local residents who settled a class action lawsuit nearly eight years ago have jointly selected a three-member medical panel.

It's separate from the science panel, which has been studying the chemical's effects.

"If there is a link between a disease and C8 exposure," said plaintiffs' attorney Harry Deitzler, "then the medical panel determines what kind of medical testing is appropriate for the people who were exposed."

The three science panel members will hold a news conference immediately following submission of its latest findings to Wood County Circuit Court.

That will take place at 10 A.M. Monday in Vienna.

WTAP will be sure to have coverage of that event.

Related Articles from the Archive

• New Study Finds Link Between C-8 and Obesity

• Update: New Findings About C8 Effects on Liver

• UPDATE: C8 Science Panel Finds Probable Links To Health Problems

• Hearing For Update On DuPont C-8 Case

• 10 Years Later

• Why It's Taking So Long

• C8 And Well Water

• Calling All C8 Study Participants

• Delayed Puberty

• Significant...Or Just Another Study?

• Little Hocking Water Assoc. Sends Notice to Customers

• Study Suggests C8 Tied to High Cholesterol in Kids

• Beyond C8

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• Latest Results

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Nc Location: Nc on May 2, 2012 at 07:03 AM
    Parkersburg is cursed. Everybody is either gay or has cancer. MOVE!!!!
  • by Viennamom Location: Vienna on Apr 17, 2012 at 04:12 PM
    "Probable link" not definite. How come no one wants to blame Eramet for sickness from the release of magnesium (a KNOWN carcinogen)? Oh that's right, their name is not as notable as DuPont's....sorry! However the KNOWN carcinogen has been measured at well above acceptable limits in Vienna. There are also several other plants in this valley that use hazardous chemicals in their process. This valley is polluted! I say we all just go back to riding horses and cooking in a wood burning stove using cast iron skillets. Get rid of our cell phones and all electronics. Do away with electricity because we all know how "bad" the coal industry is. We can play checkers made from widdled wood by candlelight for entertainment. Stop the insanity.
  • by Pam Location: Belpre on Apr 17, 2012 at 09:08 AM
    We lived in the Washington Bottom area for over 20 years and now my husband has had a kidney removed because of cancer and that it had spread to other areas in his body. We raised three children in that area and now we worry about them. This has changed our lives to an area that we thought we would never would have been in.
  • by cyber on Apr 17, 2012 at 06:59 AM
    Keep working this "class warfare" and someday all can cash in for an entitled check when none was affected by Dupont. They can close the facility and move to another location and take their jobs with them! How would Parkersburg be with another 1,000 people looking for jobs after Dupont pulls up stakes? It amazes me that the populus wants to hold up Dupont. They have been trying to hold up this company because they have "deep pockets" The chamber of commerce should get off their a** and fight for this plant.
  • by Cashfor Metoo Location: Belpre on Apr 17, 2012 at 05:12 AM
    Sign me up! Put my name on the sue-happy list, ready to cash in and never work another day in my life. I want my social security disabilty too. I think I'll fake a hurt back and get pain meds from a dozen different doctors, and sell those on the side for even more money. Sounds like a perfect plan to me. I'll start shopping for a new truck today! Sad to see what this area has come to. Live your life, be kind to people, and enjoy what time you have on this earth. Be a part of society, and not part of the collapse of society.
    • reply
      by kat on May 2, 2012 at 12:49 PM in reply to Cashfor Metoo
      Agree 100% that is all this lawsuit is trying to get a free ride the only one getting rich is the lawyers just get a job already stop trying to ride on the backs of hardworking people if you dont like living here move
  • by Dave Location: Lubeck on Apr 16, 2012 at 08:44 PM
    I am shocked about this as well!
  • by John Location: Marietta on Apr 16, 2012 at 08:27 PM
    I am not shocked about the public's concern or response,including WTAP's quick reporting of news that could help deter interest in future jobs in manufacturing positions in this area. Listen up folks. Pay attention to how you live, and you may be surprised that this whole C8 thing is the least of your worries and you will be dissapointed when you won't get a free check from DuPont, or the government.
    • reply
      by ellen on May 3, 2012 at 09:27 AM in reply to John
      I totally agree! I wonder how many of these people filing this law suit are smokers, fast food junkies, and/ or are overweight. We are all so concerned about the cancer causing elements around us, but few people take the time to eat correctly, exercise, or watch our health in other ways. This all appears to be a great money making scheme, concocted by a group of publicity seeking folks and their lawyers. There could be probable cause in just about every processed food that enters the local stores we buy from. Let's all sue them to for putting this stuff on their shelves and then selling it to an "unknowing public" Soemtimes, a little common sense might be the best solution to our major health concerns. The money for this will mostly end up in the pockets of the lawyers anyway.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 16, 2012 at 08:01 PM
    A probable cause doesn't necessarily mean it is certain to cause cancer. For anyone looking to "cash in" you probably will ever see a dime. Do you or have you worked for Dupont? Do you live in or have lived in the affected areas? How much C8 is/was actually in your bloodstream? Do you have a family history of the cancer? Alot of questions will have to be answered before you would even be considered for any type of payment from Dupont.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Apr 16, 2012 at 10:18 PM in reply to
      I grew up on Little Hocking water, the worst one....no wonder i am losing my sight....
    • reply
      by Dave on Apr 16, 2012 at 11:04 PM in reply to
      Well, lets wait and see...I have more info than you do, obviously.
  • by Heartbroken Location: Belpre, Oh. on Apr 16, 2012 at 04:06 PM
    My Mother died in 2006. Iam worried was this from C8? She got this cancer fast. Dr Shaw said it started in the liver, once hearing of her cancer on Dec. 1st. She was gone by Dec. 7th. He said it was all through her system, and no one predicted it before Dec. 1st. She lived close to the DuPont area.
  • by Angela Location: Marietta on Apr 16, 2012 at 03:00 PM
    What steps need to be taken if you think this issue involves you or a loved one?
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