Thursday, June 7, 2007

MDH Releases Cancer Study

The Minnesota Department of Health is releasing a cancer study today, observing rates in areas where people have been drinking water contaminated with C8 and other perfluorochemicals.

The state is looking at the issue as the result of contamination detected around 3M manufacturing sites, somewhat similar in nature to the local issue with DuPont Washington Works. For decades, 3M used PFOS to make Scotchgard and many other products. PFOS is a sister chemical to PFOA. Both are known by their 8-carbon chains.

Most of the cancer rates observed were within expected limits, but the study did find some disturbing irregularities.

An excess of liver cancer was found in women living in one of the two counties examined. Further analysis showed that liver cancer rates in men ranked as high as double the state average while the incidents of liver cancer in women were as high as three times the expected rate.

Overall cancer rates in the two counties were very similar to the rest of the state, but the report says that the rates in the profiled communities are statistically uncertain due to the small populations involved. The report concludes that the few elevations observed must be interpreted very cautiously.

(A link to the study will be posted as soon as it becomes available.)

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