Fluoride Action Network

Ohio/WV: C8 Science Panel Newsletter #1

Source: C8 Science Panel | March 28th, 2009
Industry type: Perfluorinated chemicals

1. Science Panel launches e-Newsletter

This is the first edition of our newsletter from the C8 Science Panel. Each time the C8 Science Panel has some news we will send out this newsletter by email to people who have registered to receive it. We will provide regular updates about our research into C8 and its potential health effects, informing readers of new findings and other news from the C8 Science Panel studies as soon as they are posted on the C8 Science Panel website. Please feel free to inform others you think may be interested so they can also sign up to receive an email news update. Request to receive the newsletter at: http://www.c8sciencepanel.org/lists/?p=subscribe

2. Press Conference held March 26

The Science Panel held a press conference in Parkersburg, WV on March 26 to report on recent findings. All three members of the panel were present, and commented on their studies. Members of the press who attended were: Todd Baucher, WTAP TV; Callie Lyons, WMOA radio; Doug Hess, Clear Channel Radio; Bryan Barker, Suddenlink Media; David Payne, Parkersburg News; Ken Ward, Charleston Gazette; and Clark Davis, WV Public Broadcasting.

Others were sent the release by email. We appreciate those members of the press who attend and are able to ask us, first-hand, the questions they feel their readers want answered. The next items describe the three reports discussed. These results can be seen as pieces of a large puzzle we are putting together, and the whole picture – the health impacts of C8 – will be apparent when all the pieces are assembled.

The complete press release can be found at our website, http://www.c8sciencepanel.org/press.html

3. Birth Outcomes and C8

The C8 Science Panel has completed a new evaluation of the relationship between C8 (also known as PFOA) and C8S (also known as PFOS) in the blood and reproductive health. This analysis is based on recent pregnancies among the Mid-Ohio Valley residents who participated in the C8 Health Project in 2005-2006.

Higher levels of C8 and C8S were not found to be related to miscarriage or preterm birth. There were some weak relationships between both C8 and C8S with preeclampsia and birth defects in the infants, but the evidence to suggest that risk increases with greater exposure is not consistent.

The panel will be conducting a more comprehensive analysis of pregnancies reported to the C8 Health Project, including more years prior to the C8 Health Project and using more complete data on past exposures which will be available from another Science Panel project. An additional Science Panel study will be conducted on all the births in the area using birth certificates. Combining these studies, as well as data from other investigators, the C8 Science Panel will determine whether a probable link exists between C8 and reproductive outcomes.

See the full Status Report summarizing these findings at the Panel website: http://www.c8sciencepanel.org/study_results.html

4. Clearance of C8 after stopping exposure

The C8 Science Panel has announced a first preliminary estimate of the time it takes the body to clear C8 from its system once the source of the chemical has been filtered.

Lubeck Public Service District in West Virginia began filtering public water in June 2007 in order to remove PFOA, and Little Hocking Water Association in Ohio began filtering public water in November 2007. The C8 Science Panel has been conducting a C8 Half Life Study to determine how fast C8 is removed from the body after water filters have been installed and exposure to C8 is reduced. “Half life” refers to the time it takes the body to clear one half of its C8, measured as C8 in blood.

For people with levels above 50 ng/ml as in our study, about 95% of the C8 would be cleared from the blood 10 years following exposure through drinking water ceasing. The Science Panel will be requesting two more blood samples from participants during the next few years, and expects to report more precise half-life estimates when this study is completed in 2012.

See the full Status Report summarising these findings at the Panel website: http://www.c8sciencepanel.org/study_results.html

5. Immune markers and C8

The C8 Science Panel has completed first analyses of data on immune markers in relation to C8 in the blood among the Mid-Ohio Valley residents who participated in the C8 Health Project in 2005-2006. Key results included decreasing trends in Immunoglobulin IgA and C Reactive Protein with increasing C8 levels, and an increasing trend of ANA – Antinuclear antibodies. It was uncertain if these trends could be attributed to the C8, especially that one cannot be sure which came first, and the magnitude of changes were small. Caution was therefore recommended in interpreting these trends. Nonetheless the fact that some of these immune markers show a pattern of change raises the concern that there may be an association between immune function and PFOA exposure in exposed persons. Ongoing work in the Science Panel work program to assess more specific markers of immune function is intended to help clarify this issue.

See the full Status Report summarising these findings at the Panel website: http://www.c8sciencepanel.org/study_results.html

6. Predictors of C8 paper published

A new article has just come out on the patterns and determinants of C8 (PFOA) in the Mid-Ohio Valley. The article, co-authored by C8 Science Panel, is on the online version of the Journal: Environmental Health Perspectives. This journal provides free online, full text access to its published articles. The full details and web address are:

Predictors of PFOA Levels in a Community Surrounding a Chemical Plant.
Kyle Steenland, Chuangfang Jin, Jessica MacNeil, Cathy Lally, Alan Ducatman, Veronica Vieira and Tony Fletcher.
Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) EHP-in-Press March 23 2009
Full text available at:

7. Ending of Science Panel consents

The Science Panel is no longer accepting Consent Forms as of April 1, 2009. Those who participated in the C8 Health Project were given the opportunity to consent to be contacted by the Science Panel for participation in future studies; however, that consent process will be closed at the first of April.

Altogether over 40,000 adults who had been in the Project signed Consent Forms, which amounts to about two-thirds of the eligible adult population.

That is an excellent response rate for people agreeing to help in a research project, higher than in many other community studies. A good response rate contributes to the reliability of findings. The Panel thanks all those who signed up and submitted consent forms.


The C8 Science Panel was chosen to determine whether a probable link exists between C8 and any 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 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.