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Science panel: Probable link between chemical and preeclampsia

The good news from one scientific panel is that exposure to the chemical C8 doesn't appear to cause an increased risk of a loss of a pregnancy, preterm or low-weight births, or birth defects. The bad news is that the three-member panel does believe there is a probable link between C8 exposure and pregnancy induced hypertension in mothers.

The finding, announced earlier this month, is only the first to come from the group. Its members were appointed in 2005 to look into possible health threats from C8 as part of a settlement of a class action against chemical giant DuPont. More findings are expected to come through the first half of 2012. Maryland personal injury lawyers with experience in birth injuries are following the story.

C8, or perfluorooctanic acid, is suspected to be linked to an array of human diseases including adult thyroid disease, elevated cholesterol and liver disfunction. A DuPont website says it's used as part of the process in making Teflon and other non-stick products.

Residents from around a DuPont plant in West Virginia filed suit after it was discovered that C8 had leached into their water supplies. In early 2005, the company and the claimants reached a settlement. So far, the company has reportedly paid out more than $90 million for research into dangers of C8 and for the installation of water filtering systems.

Depending on the eventual findings of the science panel, DuPont could be on the hook for up to an additional $235 million to pay for ongoing medical monitoring of those involved in the class action.

As noted at the start of this post, the scientific panel indicates there is a probable link between C8 and pregnancy induced hypertension. PIH doesn't necessarily cause any problems for birth of a baby, but if it's left untreated during pregnancy it can result in a low-weight child. It pays to be aware if a mom-to-be develops the condition because it can also cause significant health problems for the mother.

Source: The West Virginia Record, "C8 panel finds link between DuPont chemical, preeclampsia," Jessica M. Karmasek, Dec. 6, 2011

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