DuPont Co. has discovered evidence of elevated cancer rates among employees at its Washington Works plant in West Virginia, according to records turned over to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. DuPont says it hasn’t determined why there may be a fivefold increase in certain cancers for employees at the plant near Parkersburg, Virginia. Of significance, the company claims not to know if the increase is related to the chemical C8. However, DuPont reported the information to the EPA in 2006 and updated the agency the following year. But, interestingly, the findings have never been released to the public.
C8, a suspected carcinogen, is the subject of intensive scientific research that started as part of a class-action lawsuit that claimed C8 releases from the Washington Works plant contaminated water supplies. About 69,000 people participated in the C8 Health Project, which is aimed at determining whether the chemical has any effect on humans. Results aren’t expected until 2011. DuPont has used C8 for more than 50 years in making nonstick and stain- and water-resistant coatings for cookware, carpets and other products. DuPont has said it plans to phase out use of C8 — ammonium perfluorooctanoate — by 2015.
Source: Associated Press
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