Sustained Outrage

C8 exposure linked to osteoarthritis

The folks at West Virginia University’s C8 Health Project just keep churning out important new papers about the potential impacts of the toxic chemical DuPont for years used to make its prized Teflon products.

Just this week, Drs. Kim Innes and Alan Ductman, along with others, had a paper in the respected scientific publication the American Journal of Epidemiology.

The paper reports, apparently for the first time, a significant association between exposure to C8 and the development of osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease and the most common form of arthritis.

Interestingly, the relationship between chemical exposure and the disease was significantly stronger among younger people and non-obese adults. Also interesting is the fact that the researchers found a negative association between PFOS exposure and osteoarthritis.

The study is based on the C8 Health Project’s work looking at the data from roughly 70,000 residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley who gave blood samples and medical histories to the project, funded by money from a legal settlement between the residents and DuPont.

Researchers concluded:

… We found a significant, positive, linear association between PFOA and reported diagnosis of osteoarthritis and a signficant negative association between PFOS and osteoarthritis. If replicated in prospective studies, these findings could have substantial public health implications and may inform future studies regarding possible mechanisms underlying the development and progression of this important and common chronic disorder.

This study comes on the heels of another major study of C8/PFOA, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives and reported on here by the great Marla Cone:

… Scientists with three federal agencies who studied mice exposed in the womb to a chemical used to make Teflon found delayed breast development and impaired lactation. The effects were found in the mice at the concentrations detected in the water supply of an Ohio town near a DuPont Co. plant that uses the chemical, known as PFOA. Water supplies are not routinely monitored for it.

“If human exposures in distinct populations are approximating those provided in this study, concern over human breast health and lactational competency are justified,” said the authors, led by Suzanne Fenton, a mammary gland expert at the National Toxicology Program.

That study was published as part of a major editorial in which scientists urged federal officials to add new tests for industrial chemicals and pesticides to find out which ones could disrupt breath development. That editorial said:

Given the magnitude of potential public health impacts on breast feeding and breast cancer, it is critical to strengthen testing methods and give more weight to them in policy decisions. Good decisions about pollution limits, pesticide approvals, and chemicals in consumer products and food rely on a full and accurate understanding of risks associated with exposure.