Sustained Outrage

Just a few weeks after the latest probable link finding from the C8 Science Panel in the Mid-Ohio Valley, we’ve got a very interesting new paper out that focuses attention on how some health effects related to C8 exposure appear to be happening at very low levels — levels to which the general public is exposed.

The new paper was written by Gloria Post of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Perry Cohn of the New Jersey Department of Health, and Keith Cooper of Rutgers University. It’s called “Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), an emerging drinking water contaminant: A critical review of recent literature” and was published online by the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Research (subscription required).

Among other things, the study reports:

— Continued exposure to even relatively low concentrations in drinking water can substantially increase total human exposure, with a serum drinking water ratio of about 100:1.

— Infants are potentially a sensitive sub-population for PFOA’s developmental effects, and their exposure through breast milk from mothers who use contaminated drinking water and/or from formula prepared with contaminated drinking water is higher than in adults exposed to the same drinking water concentration.

— Numerous health endpoints are associated with human PFOA exposure in the general population, communities with contaminated drinking water, and workers.

While the study notes that, “as is the case for most such epidemiology studies, causality for these effects is not proven,” it also reports:

Unlike most other well-studied drinking water contaminants,the human dose-response curve for several effects appears to be steepest at the lower exposure levels,including the general population range,with no apparent threshold for some end points.

And, the study says:

This information suggests that continued human exposure to even relatively low concentrations of PFOA in drinking water results in elevated body burdens that may increase the risk of health effects.