Attorney calls for U.S. agency to study effects of PFAS chemical group, including C8

Published: Sep. 7, 2017 at 4:45 PM EDT
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The issue of the effects of C8 could extend to similar chemicals.

And an attorney wants a nationwide study of highly fluorinated chemicals like it, even pledging to go to court to make it happen.

Perfluorinated chemicals, or PFAS, include PFOA, also known as C8.

But they also include other substances, including those used in the foam firefighters use to put out fires. Reportedly, those chemicals have resulted in cancer and other diseases to those firefighters and first responders.

Cincinnati-based attorney Robert Bilott has sent a letter to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), calling for an extensive study into the effects of PFAS.

Bilott, in a letter to the agency, says the U.S. E.P.A. has indicated public health emergencies have potentially resulted from excessive amounts of PFAS in drinking water supplies.

The Toxic Substances Agency itself, according to Bilott's letter, identified more than 100 locations across the country where PFAS were present in drinking water at elevated levels.

Bilott cites as a model for the proposed study the research done by the C8 Science Project into the effects of the chemical DuPont Washington Works-now Chemours-used for years in the manufacture of Teflon.

"The C8 Science Panel and the C8 Health Project work allows ATDSR to start what is already known and addressed by the (studies)," Bilott said in his letter, "and direct its resources toward studying the effects of having one or more of the other PFAS materials in drinking water."

Bilott is giving the ATDSR 60 days to begin its own study of perfluorinated chemicals, before it files a lawsuit requiring the agency to do so.

The letter, dated September 5, was also sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the federal Environmental Protection Agency, and to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.