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Blood analysis local residents confirms longtime exposure to PFOA

Publication date: 16 May 2017
Modificationdate: 21 June 2017

The results of blood analysis show that measured blood values correspond well with the calculated values in an earlier study in 2016 on the emission of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) by DuPont/Chemours. These findings support the conclusion of the earlier study that it is likely that residents around Dupont/Chemours have been chronically exposed to high values of PFOA. Long-term exposure to PFOA may have affected the health of people living nearby the DuPont/Chemours factory.

Local residents who have lived in the vicinity of the factory for a long period of time have higher concentrations of PFOA in their blood than residents who live further away or who have lived in the vicinity of the factory for shorter periods of time. This is the result of research by RIVM in cooperation with the the Service Youth and Health, South Holland South.

Changes in the body

An analysis of scientific literature shows that there are links between undesirable changes in the body and the PFOA concentration in the blood. However, scientists are still rather unsure about the exact blood concentrations at which these undesirable changes occur in the body. It is unclear whether exposure to PFOA is the cause of the changes.

A link is most probable for changes in cholesterol, liver enzymes and birth weight. Changes are noticeable even at relatively low PFOA blood concentrations, as occur in the general population.

Individual health study of little use

RIVM expects that an (individual) health study among local residents will produce little to no health benefits for the people in question. In some cases the undesirable changes in the body which may occur as a consequence of exposure to PFOA can already be detected by routine health surveilance and can therefore be treated.. possible serious health effects are kidney cancer, testicular cancer and chronic inflammation of the mucous membrane of the colon (ulcerative colitis). These possible effects occur only on a very limited scale

As a result, the chance that a screening for these conditions will lead to the detection of any new cases is very small. People who are concerned about their health are advised to contact their GP.

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