Read the study here.
PARKERSBURG, W.Va. -- Mid-Ohio Valley teenagers who were exposed to DuPont Co.'s C8 pollution experienced a four- to six-month delay in puberty, according to a new study that adds to the growing concerns about potential health effects of chemicals that have been widely used in nonstick and stain-resistant products.
Members of the C8 Science Panel based their latest report on data comparing blood levels of C8 and a related chemical called PFOS in 6,000 boys and girls with information about their hormone levels and when girls began menstrual cycles.
The three-scientist team found boys with the higher levels of PFOS and girls with a higher level of both chemicals hit puberty later.
During a news conference in Parkersburg, Science Panel member Tony Fletcher described the findings as "a clear statistical association," but cautioned it was not yet proof that the chemicals caused the puberty delays.
Fletcher offered the Science Panel's first real public criticism of DuPont, saying he disagreed with the company's repeated statement that scientific studies show C8 "does not harm human health and the environment."
"That is to me too negative a statement," said Fletcher, a researcher from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
"There are a number of suggested possible associations in epidemiological studies between a number of outcomes and C8," Fletcher said. "We can't be sure that it's definitely caused by C8, but that is not the same thing as saying there is no evidence of effects."
Fletcher and two other experts are conducting one of two C8 reviews as part of a $107.6 million settlement of a lawsuit filed by residents who alleged DuPont's Washington Works plant south of Parkersburg poisoned their water with C8.
In one effort, the C8 Health Project, residents gave blood and detailed medical histories to try to give researchers a huge database from which to consider C8's possible impacts. In the other, the C8 Science Panel -- a team agreed to by DuPont and the residents' lawyers -- is trying to determine if C8 is linked to adverse health effects.