Fluoride Action Network

Ohio: C8 Science Panel Completes Uric Acid Study

Source: C8 Science Panel Press release | January 27th, 2009
Industry type: Perfluorinated chemicals

The C8 Science Panel has completed a new study on uric acid and C8 and C8S, based on existing data from the C8 Health Project. While increased uric acid is associated with higher levels of C8 and C8S, the data are not sufficient to show that these chemicals can cause an increase in uric acid.

The Science Panel team recently completed a study on the relationship between uric acid and C8 (also known as PFOA) and C8S (also known as PFOS) in the blood among Mid-Ohio Valley residents who participated in the C8 Health Project in 2005-2006. This study was done in collaboration with researchers at West Virginia University. A summary of the results of this study has now been filed with the court in Wood County, West Virginia, as required under a court settlement of a class action suit in 2004, and will be available at the C8 Science Panel website, www.c8sciencepanel.org.

Uric acid is a natural component of the blood, coming largely from dietary sources, particularly meat. Very high levels of uric acid can lead to gout, a form of arthritis, and high uric acid has been associated with higher blood pressure in epidemiologic studies. C8 is present at relatively high levels among many Mid-Ohio Valley residents due to drinking water contaminated with C8 coming from the local DuPont chemical plant. DuPont did not release C8S from the plant, and C8S levels in Mid-Ohio Valley residents are similar to levels in the general US population.

The C8 Science Panel found that that higher serum levels of both C8 and C8S were each independently and significantly associated with a higher uric acid in the blood of 55,000 adults who participated in the C8 Health Project in 2005-2006. However, because of the fact that uric acid and C8/C8S were measured at the same time, they could not determine if an increase in either C8 or C8S would cause an increase in uric acid. Other possibilities include that both uric acid and these two chemicals increase in relation to some other unknown chemical in the blood, or even that an increase in uric acid in fact causes increased retention and blood levels of C8 and C8S for unknown reasons. Because of this lack of knowledge about which came first, the uric acid increase or the C8/C8S increase, no firm conclusions about a causal relationship between C8 and C8S and uric acid can be drawn from these findings.

The C8 Science Panel was chosen to determine whether a probable link exists between C8 and human disease as part of a class action settlement of a lawsuit involving releases of a chemical known as C8 from DuPont’s Washington Works in Wood County, West Virginia. The C8 Science Panel is made up of three scientists from universities in London, Atlanta and New York. The three panelists were agreed upon by both DuPont and the plaintiffs. They are Dr. Tony Fletcher, Dr. Kyle Steenland, and Dr. David Savitz. More information as well as a schedule of studies can be found at www.c8sciencepanel.org.