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Environment

Panel Links Chemical To High Cholesterol

by Glenn Hess
November 5, 2012 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 90, ISSUE 45

An independent research team says it has discovered a likely connection between exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA or C8) and medically diagnosed high cholesterol. But the C8 Science Panel says no probable link was found between levels of PFOA and Parkinson’s disease, nonmalignant liver disease, nonmalignant kidney disease, osteoarthritis, coronary artery disease, or high blood pressure. The panel sought to determine whether high blood levels of PFOA causes disease in humans. The three-member panel of epidemiologists was formed in 2005 as part of a settlement of a class-action lawsuit that claimed water supplies were contaminated by PFOA from DuPont’s Washington Works plant near Parkersburg, W.Va. Previously, the researchers found probable links between the chemical and several other health problems, including thyroid disease, testicular and kidney cancers, pregnancy-induced hypertension, and ulcerative colitis. Now that the science panel has completed its work, DuPont says it will begin funding medical monitoring for eligible area residents under a program “that will extend many years into the future” and will continue to provide filtering to remove PFOA from local water systems.

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