Sustained Outrage

Panel named to oversee C8 medical monitoring

Here’s the release just in from lawyers for DuPont and attorneys for residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley:

DuPont and attorneys for local residents who settled a class action lawsuit against DuPont in 2005 over releases of ammonium perfluorooctanoate, also known as C-8 or PFOA, from DuPont’s Washington Works plant, announced today that they have jointly selected a three-member panel of independent, well-qualified and respected medical doctors – the “C-8 Medical Panel” – to determine the nature and extent of whatever medical monitoring may be appropriate for class members under the terms of the settlement.

As part of the settlement, a separate panel of three independent epidemiologists jointly selected by the parties – the “C-8 Science Panel” – was tasked with determining whether there are any “probable links” between PFOA exposure and human disease. The C-8 Medical Panel determines the nature and extent of any medical monitoring that would be appropriate for class members for any disease for which the C-8 Science Panel finds a probable link. Thus, after the C-8 Science Panel released its first set of probable link reports in December 2011 and announced that it had found a probable link between PFOA exposure and pregnancy induced hypertension, including preeclampsia, the parties immediately began working together to identify potential Medical Panelists to evaluate medical monitoring for this disease. After interviewing multiple well-qualified candidates, the parties have agreed to the following C-8 Medical Panel:

— Dean Baker, MD, M.P.H.  — Dr. Baker is Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Epidemiology at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine. He is also director of the UC Irvine Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, a state mandated center for the study and prevention of occupational and environmental exposures, diseases, and injuries. For more than three decades, Dr. Baker has conducted substantive and methodological research in occupational and environmental health particularly on environmental exposures and diseases of children and work-related diseases of adults. He also directs an occupational medicine residency program to train physicians as specialists in occupational and environmental health.

— Melissa McDiarmid, MD, M.P.H., D.A.B.T. — Dr. McDiarmid is a Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Maryland. She is also the Director of the school’s Occupational/Environmental Health Program. From 1991-1996, Dr. McDiarmid was Director of the Office of Occupational Medicine for the United States Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). Dr. McDiarmid has authored numerous journal articles and book chapters on occupational and environmental medicine related to healthcare workers, medical surveillance and management, reproductive hazards, occupational cancers, and Gulf War environmental exposures.

— Harold Sox, MD, M.A.C.P. —  Dr. Sox is a Professor of Medicine Emeritus at the Dartmouth Medical School and the Associate Director for Faculty at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. Dr. Sox was the President of the American College of Physicians from 1998-1999. He also was Chairman of the United States Preventive Services Task Force from 1990-1995 and chaired the Institute of Medicine Committee to Study HIV Transmission through Blood Products and the Institute of Medicine Committee on Health Effects Associated with Exposures Experienced in the Gulf War.

The C-8 Science Panel will announce additional reports soon, and expects to announce all remaining reports by July 30, 2012. If the C-8 Science Panel finds any additional probable links between PFOA exposure and human disease, this C-8 Medical Panel will be tasked with evaluating the appropriateness of medical monitoring for any such additional disease, in addition to pregnancy induced hypertension, including preeclampsia.