C8 likely a Human Carcinogen

posted on:
July 6, 2005

author:
Staff

category:
Environmental

 A chemical that’s been linked to water contamination in southeast Ohio could be linked to an even bigger problem. 

Professor Harold Shechter has taught chemistry at Ohio State University for 50 years, longer than the chemical C8 has been around, and during that time he’s seen why there’s concern about its use.

Shechter says, “There may be something real there. When you serve in this capacity you have to be concerned, you really do.”

A new EPA study shows C8, which is commonly found in cooking products that use Teflon, is likely a human carcinogen.

“That means the chances are very good that it will be a cancer producing chemical,” says Shechter.

Southeast Ohio Residents like Kenny Taggert were part of a class action lawsuit that sued DuPont, the company that manufactures Teflon from its plant just across the Ohio border in West Virginia.

That lawsuit started because C8 was found in high levels of the Little Hocking water supply.

Taggert says, “I got to the point where I couldn’t do my job anymore so I had to take an early off. All I know is I had too much in my system to donate blood.”

Taggert and hundreds others took an out of court settlement from DuPont for $215 million, but the EPA did not ban DuPont from using C8 and Professor Shechter, who used to serve on the EPA advisory board, doubts there will be a ban this time either.

“I would be very surprised if there is a ban on Teflon. There might be certain uses we would want to change in all of this; we might not want it in frying pans,” says Shechter.

Meanwhile, despite the new EPA study showing C8 is likely a human carcinogen, DuPont maintains there is no link to C8 and cancer.

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