But in a commentary also published by the Archives of Internal Medicine, Dr. Debabrata Mukherjee of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center said there is plenty of evidence to warrant additional actions to protect the public from C8 and related chemicals.
"Although it seems clear that additional prospective research is needed to tease out the true adverse cardiovascular effects of PFOA, given the concerns raised by this and prior studies, clinicians need to act now," Mukherjee wrote. "From a societal point of view, it would make sense to limit or to eliminate the use of PFOA and its congeners in industry through legislation and regulation while improving water purification and treatment techniques to try and remove this potentially toxic chemical from our water supply."
Just last week, another study co-authored by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Emory University found that girls with higher prenatal exposure to C8 and similar chemicals were smaller at birth than those with lower exposures.
In West Virginia, a three-scientist panel examining C8 issues has yet to issue its findings related to whether there is a "probable link" between chemical exposure and heart disease. The panel did report last week that it believes there is no link between C8 and stroke.
Under a DuPont legal settlement that created the C8 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.
Science panel member Kyle Steenland said Tuesday that the group's findings would build on the WVU study with additional data about the timing of disease related to the timing of chemical exposure -- something the WVU researchers didn't have and said was one potential weakness of their paper. The Science Panel also has medical record validation of a disease diagnosis, whereas WVU relied on self-reported data.
"We will make a judgment on whether PFOA is linked to heart disease in our next and final probable link judgments, which will be made by the end of October," Steenland said in an email message.
Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kw...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1702.