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Two Industrial Chemicals Not Implicated in Risk of Cancers

-- Eric Metcalf

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

WEDNESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- In the general population, plasma concentrations of perfluorooctanoate and perfluorooctanesulfonate do not seem to be linked to the risk of several types of cancers, according to research published in the April 15 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Kirsten T. Eriksen, of the Danish Cancer Society in Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues analyzed data from a cohort that was free of cancer at enrollment. During follow-up, 1,240 were diagnosed with prostate, bladder, pancreatic or liver cancer. The researchers chose another 772 from the cohort as a comparison group, and assessed plasma concentrations of these industrial chemicals in all participants.

The investigators did not find clear differences in the risk of these cancers in relation to levels of perfluorooctanoate and perfluorooctanesulfonate.

"Plasma concentrations measured in this study were much lower than those in occupational cohort studies, which could explain why we did not replicate previous findings of associations between plasma concentration of perfluorooctanesulfonate and bladder cancer and plasma concentration of perfluorooctanoate and prostate cancer among occupationally exposed workers," the authors write. "However, the exposure ranges in this study were wide, from 1.0 to 76.4 ng/mL for perfluorooctanoate and from 1 to 130.5 ng/mL for perfluorooctanesulfonate, so that if a carcinogenic effect is associated with exposure at these relatively low concentrations, it could be detected."

This study was supported by the International Epidemiology Institute, which in turn received funding from The 3M Company; staffers from the 3M Toxicology Laboratory analyzed plasma samples for the study.

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