There are far-reaching concerns for the infants if we take in consideration the history of C8, another Dupont Chemours chemical used before to make Teflon – like GenX – that has been linked to multiple health problems, from cancer to reduce immune function, and then proven toxic to humans, even in small doses.
Until 2002, Dupont used to purchase C8 from another chemical company, 3M, but the company phased it out and Dupont started manufacturing it on its own factory in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Dupont stopped using C8 in the wake of massive class action lawsuits for its toxic health effects. More research found the correlation of diseases with the exposure to the chemical, after which EPA phased it out, but Dupont is still making it in China.
The European Union has very strict restrictions on C8 (PFOA and PFOS) and some countries have prohibited it.
EPA established in 2016 the health advisory levels of C8 (PFOA and PFOS) at 70 parts per trillion. EPA officials said then that the advisory levels were calculated to protect fetuses and breastfed infants, based on “the best available peer-reviewed studies”.
After the lawsuits and the discontinuation of C8 on industries, many water systems have detected it, and other related toxic compounds, at levels lower than the EPA guidelines for drinking water. Yet, the public health problem persists because researchers have proven that it doesn’t degrade in the environment and it stays on the body.
A coalition of scientists from around the world are calling for limiting the production of C8, altogether. In the U.S., they insist on more restrictions and for EPA to lower thresholds of exposure in drinking water to 1 part per trillion, which is the European Union’s recommendation for surface water.
GenX has been called a lesser health hazard than C8.
The CFPUA new data states that present lower levels of GenX in water (140 parts per trillion or lower), if consumed over a lifetime, will not have adverse health effects.