Some of the most important and highly anticipated data from the C8 Health Project was released online this week.
The results posted include a summary of the concentrations of the manufacturing chemical known as C8 or PFOA detected in the blood of 70,000 local participants. The new information is available on the West Virginia University website. The summary of raw data confirms that the people who have consumed water from the Little Hocking Water Association display by far the highest exposure levels on average.
The health project detected an average of 83 parts per billion across the study population, but trends become more obvious when comparing participants by water district. The average in Little Hocking was 226 parts per billion. For people who lived in the Lubeck public service district 94 ppb was the average, in Belpre it was 43 ppb, Tuppers Plains 40 ppb, Pomeroy 15 ppb and participants from Mason County, West Virginia averaged 14 parts per billion.
Yet, the study also reveals some of the highest levels observed in human studies of perfluorinated chemicals. In fact, the highest level recorded in the project may be the highest concentration on record for a human exposed to C8. One Little Hocking resident tested as high as 22,412 parts per billion. A Lubeck resident exhibited a level of 17,557 parts per billion, a Tuppers Plains resident had a concentration of 8,162 parts per billion, and a Belpre resident tested at 7,932 parts per billion.
Industry studies show workers with elevated exposure levels, but they only go up to 5,000 parts per billion.
Project administrators warn against drawing health conclusions from the raw data. Little is known about what levels may prove to be "acceptable" or "harmful". Numerous scientific studies are underway to examine potential human health effects. The US EPA is trying to determine whether C8 should be classified as a “suggested” or “likely” carcinogen.
You can view the results online at: http://www.hsc.wvu.edu/som/cmed/c8/results/C8AndPFCLevels/index.asp