PFOA 2006
C8 rated a ‘likely carcinogen’
The Charleston Gazette (West Virginia). February 16, 2006.


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February 16, 2006

The Charleston Gazette (West Virginia)

C8 rated a ‘likely carcinogen

By The Associated Press

DOVER, Del. — A group of scientific advisers to the Environmental Protection Agency voted unanimously Wednesday to approve a recommendation that C8, a chemical used in the manufacture of Teflon and other nonstick and stain-resistant products, should be considered a likely carcinogen.

The approval of the EPA’s Science Advisory Board is conditioned on minor clarifications being made to a draft report submitted by a review panel, but no major changes will be made to the panel’s findings.

The revisions called for include making a cover letter to EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson more reader-friendly and clarifying the scope of dissent among members of the SAB panel that reviewed the EPA’s draft risk assessment of C8, also known as perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA.

Board members also agreed that the report should clarify why some unpublished scientific studies were considered by the panel while others weren’t, and that the panel’s findings should not be considered the last word on C8 but should be updated as additional data become available.

Some members of the review panel disagreed with the majority view that C8 should be classified as a “likely carcinogen,” a finding that went beyond the EPA’s own determination that there was only “suggestive evidence” from animal studies that C8 and its salts are potential human carcinogens.

“Are we talking two-fifths of the panel, or are we talking about a small number?” asked SAB chairman M. Granger Morgan, head of the department of engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University.

Deborah Cory-Slechta, chairwoman of the C8 risk assessment review panel, said dissent from the majority views of the 16-member panel on issues it was asked to study typically was limited to three or four members.

C8 is a processing aid used in the manufacturing of fluoropolymers, which have a wide variety of product applications, including nonstick cookware.

The chemical also can be a byproduct in the manufacturing of fluorotelomers used in surface protection products for applications such as stain-resistant textiles and grease-resistant food wrapping.

Wilmington-based DuPont, owner of the Teflon brand, is the sole producer of C8 in North America.

DuPont is funding a health study in the Mid-Ohio Valley to settle a class-action lawsuit by area residents who said C8 releases from the company’s Washington Works Plant in Wood County, W.Va., contaminated their drinking water.

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