VIENNA, W.Va. -- Exposure to C8 is probably linked to thyroid disease and to an inflammatory bowel disease called ulcerative colitis, according to the latest findings of a scientific team that is investigating the DuPont Co. chemical's potential impacts on human health.
The C8 Science Panel's report adds to conclusions of the group, which had already reported a "probable link" between C8 exposure and types of cancer and to dangerous high blood pressure among pregnant women.
Kyle Steenland, a science panel member from Emory University, said the findings aren't absolute proof that C8 causes the illnesses, but certainly indicate exposure to the chemical is "not a good thing for public health."
The Science Panel said that it found a "strong correlation" between higher exposures to C8 and ulcerative colitis, a relatively rare chronic inflammation of the digestive tract lining similar to Crohn's disease.
Panel members said that evidence regarding thyroid disease was "mixed," but that "overall, it was more probable than not" that it was linked to C8. The thyroid helps control how quickly the body uses energy and makes proteins and controls how sensitive the body is to other hormones.
In other results, panel members said they found no probable links between C8 and at least five other types of illnesses, including asthma and neurological development in children.
The findings, released during a Monday morning press conference outside Parkersburg, are the latest results from a six-year study of the DuPont chemical.
Under a legal settlement that created the Science Panel, any probable link connections mean DuPont Co. will have to fund up to $235 million in future medical tests for area residents, to help provide early detection of diseases linked to exposure to C8 from the company's nearby Washington Works plant.