First Series of C8 Reports Found Links to Kidney Cancer and Testicular Cancer

C8 Science Panel StudiesThe C8 Science Panel delivered the first in a series of four reports on April 16, 2012 concluding there is a probable link between C8 and kidney cancer and testicular cancer among residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley whose water was contaminated by a manufacturing plant in Parkersburg, West Virginia.

The report also stated that a probable link was not found between C8 and several other cancers, nor between C8 and adult onset diabetes.

C8 is the common name given to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).  This man-made chemical is used to manufacture everyday products such as non-stick cookware, water repellant apparel and stain-resistant carpets. It was regularly produced for many years at Washington Works, a DuPont manufacturing facility in the Mid-Ohio Valley.

Only four of the cancer sites considered showed any indications of positive trends with increasing exposure.  The exposure was measured by cumulative serum levels in the persons participating in the study.  Only testicular and kidney cancer were determined to have a probable link with C8 and thyroid cancer.

There were associations between testicular cancer in the highly-exposed group compared to participants living in the unexposed area.  In relation to kidney cancer, there was weaker evidence of trends of increased risk in relation to higher exposure categories.

This is part of the most comprehensive study ever done evaluating the effects of C8 on human health.  Over a seven-year span, scientists collected and analyzed the health data of more than 70,000 men, women and children in the Mid-Ohio Valley region.

The story began many years ago, but it wasn’t until 2004 that E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., a manufacturing facility located on the south side of the Ohio River, reached a legal settlement with residents in the surrounding region.  This massive study was done by the C8 Science Panel to determine whether C8 had contaminated the water in the area of the manufacturing facility, and if that contamination had affected the health of those exposed to the water.

The three members who make up the C8 Science Panel were epidemiologists who had extensive experience in designing and performing health studies.  They were experts on various types of environmental diseases and how they affect the human body.  Their task was to evaluate whether environmental factors may or may not be causing disease in groups of people.

As part of the settlement, the panel was required to report its findings to the Wood County Circuit Court in Parkersburg.  Ultimately, they would report on their study of 12 categories of disease and their possible connection to C8 contamination in the region.  If it was “more probable than not” that C8 exposure in humans was linked to a particular illness in the area’s population, that disease was categorized as having a “probable link” to C8 contamination.

For each decision, the science panel considered evidence from toxicological data in animals, outside epidemiologic studies, and four epidemiologic studies conducted by the panel in the community. In total, the science panel would study 21 different cancers.

The Science Panel considered all studies to date of the relationship between C8 and cancer or diabetes.  One of the most important studies on which the findings were based was a follow-up study of 32,000 people conducted in 2009-2011 (28,000 community workers and 4,000 DuPont workers).  Medical history was collected and the panel sought medical records confirming any diseases reported.

The Science Panel validated 2,420 diagnoses of primary cancer of the 3,636 study subjects reporting having cancer of 21 different types.  These were validated through medical record review and the state cancer registry data.

The panel estimated the level of C8 in the blood of study subjects over time before cancer occurred, relying on records of past emissions from the DuPont plant and the residential history of the study subjects.

The panel then determined whether those study participants who had higher levels of C8 in their blood over time had higher levels of cancer.  The only two cancers where a reasonably consistent and strong relationship between past exposure and cancer was found were testicular cancer and kidney cancer, both rare.

Testicular cancer is considered highly treatable, if detected early.  Swelling of the testicles is a symptom of the disease.  Successful kidney cancer treatment is more problematic depending on when it is diagnosed and the particular type of cancer involved.  Kidney cancer symptoms include blood in the urine, back pain, and swelling in the legs.  But sometimes it exhibits no symptoms and is only discovered in a medical examination.

The Science Panel also performed a geographical study in this first series.  Here, the panel looked at data from all registered cancers supplied by the Ohio and West Virginia Health Departments.  They compared cancer rates in exposed areas in the Mid-Ohio Valley versus non-exposed areas.  The panel found that areas with the highest rates of testicular cancer were the areas with the highest C8 exposure.  A similar, but less consistent and less pronounced result was found for kidney cancer.

To learn more about legal representation available to C8 victims, please contact the law firm of Slater & Zurz LLP and find out if you may have a claim involving C8 and your health.  Contact the firm at 1-888-534-4850 or go to their website and fill out a FREE CASE REVIEW form.  The website is www.slaterzurz.com.

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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One Comment on “First Series of C8 Reports Found Links to Kidney Cancer and Testicular Cancer”

  1. Shawn Brodell Says:

    Hi thank you. i have referenced this article for my assignment. Thanks

    Reply

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