It is the center of upcoming trials, the first of which will be held this fall in Columbus, Ohio. It has now been discovered that this deadly chemical that DuPont continued to use well after it knew it was linked to health problems is now practically everywhere. DuPont tried to hide it and protect its profits but now all the details are coming to light…and they are very grim.
It has been on Earth for eight or so decades. A man-made compound that didn’t exist a century ago, C8 is in the blood of 99.7% of Americans, according to a 2007 analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control, as well as in newborn human babies, breast milk, and umbilical cord blood. And we’ve had no choice in the matter. Concerns about the safety of Teflon, C8, and other long-chain perfluorinated chemicals first came to wide public attention more than a decade ago
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), also known as C8 and perfluorooctanoate, is a synthetic perflourinated carboxylic acid and fluorosurfactant. It has been used in the manufacture of such prominent consumer goods as Teflon.
PFOA persists indefinitely in the environment. It is a toxicant and carcinogen in animals. PFOA has been detected in the blood of 99.7% of the general US population, and levels are higher in chemical plant employees and surrounding subpopulations. How general populations are exposed to PFOA is not completely understood. PFOA has been detected in industrial waste, stain resistant carpets, carpet cleaning liquids, house dust, microwave popcorn bags, water, food, some cookware and PTFE such as Teflon.
A growing group of scientists have been tracking the chemical’s spread through the environment, documenting its presence in a wide range of wildlife, including Loggerhead sea turtles, bottlenose dolphins, harbor seals, polar bears, caribou, walruses, bald eagles, lions, tigers, and arctic birds. Although DuPont no longer uses C8, fully removing the chemical from all the bodies of water and bloodstreams it pollutes is now impossible. And, because it is so chemically stable — in fact, as far as scientists can determine, it never breaks down — C8 is expected to remain on the planet well after humans are gone from it.
Hundreds of internal communications have revealed that DuPont employees for many years suspected that C8 was harmful and yet continued to use it, putting the company’s workers and the people who lived near its plants at risk.
The company even conducted a human C8 experiment, a deposition revealed. In 1962, DuPont scientists asked volunteers to smoke cigarettes laced with the chemical and observed that “Nine out of ten people in the highest-dosed group were noticeably ill for an average of nine hours with flu-like symptoms that included chills, backache, fever, and coughing.”
In 2011 and 2012, after seven years of research, the science panel found that C8 was “more likely than not” linked to ulcerative colitis — Wamsley’s condition — as well as to high cholesterol; pregnancy-induced hypertension; thyroid disease; testicular cancer; and kidney cancer. The scientists’ findings were striking, because the chemical’s effects were so widespread throughout the body and because even very low exposure levels were associated with health effects.