February 16, 2006
The Charleston Gazette (West Virginia)
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
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some unpublished scientific studies were considered by the panel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
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
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.
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.