12 January 2005 22:13 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (CNI)--The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a draft risk assessment Wednesday that is uncertain on potential human health effects of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), the intermediate chemical essential in production of non-stick surfaces such as DuPont’s Teflon.
EPA said that its preliminary assessment “includes an analysis of how PFOA causes liver tumours in rats” but that the chemical’s impact on human health is less certain.
EPA said that studies of workers exposed to PFOA “demonstrated a statistically significant association between prostate cancer mortality and employment duration in the chemical facility of a plant that manufactures PFOA.” However, EPA added, “in an update to this study in which more specific exposure measures were used, a significant association for prostate cancer was not observed.”
In addition, said the agency, “Other mortality studies lacked adequate exposure data which could be linked to health outcomes.”
In short, said EPA, while “PFOA and its salts are persistent in the environment,” there is “little information available” on how PFOA affects human health.
Consequently, said the agency, its draft risk assessment “does not provide conclusions regarding potential levels of concern” for PFOA and human health.
EPA’s draft risk assessment is being submitted to an EPA science advisory board (SAB) for peer review. The SAB, a panel of outside scientific experts, will review EPA’s preliminary risk assessment and comment on “the scientific approaches that [EPA] will use in developing the agency’s revised PFOA risk assessment.”
The SAB will conduct its review on 22-23 February and its report is expected several months later.
Complete details on the EPA draft risk assessment for PFOA can be obtained on the EPA Web site at: http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/pfoa/pfoarisk.htm.
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|
Asian Chemical Connections