Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Research Finds A Compound Associated With Scotchgard More Widespread In Environment And Wildlife Than First Thought

Date:
April 11, 2001
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
A chemical compound associated with Scotchgard®, the popular stain and spill repellant made by the 3M Company, may be more widespread in the environment than originally thought, according to a new research report. Although there have been no reports of adverse health effects from the compound, which can bioaccumulate in blood, the company began replacing the suspect chemical last year.

April 9, 2001 -- A chemical compound associated with Scotchgard®, the popular stain and spill repellant made by the 3M Company, may be more widespread in the environment than originally thought, according to a new research report. Although there have been no reports of adverse health effects from the compound, which can bioaccumulate in blood, the company began replacing the suspect chemical last year.

The study, funded by 3M, is reported in the April 1 issue of Environmental Science & Technology, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society. It is the first global survey and the first study to identify the compound, perfluorooctane sulfonate, or PFOS, in wildlife, says lead researcher John Giesy, Ph.D., of Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich. The compound in Scotchgard® that repels oil and water can break down over time into PFOS, he said.

Giesy collected more than 2,000 animal tissue samples, from the Pacific Rim to Antarctica, and analyzed more than 400 for PFOS. He found widespread distribution of the chemical and levels in mammals, fish and birds that he described as "surprisingly high." The findings indicate the reach of PFOS into the food chain and the environment, although the amounts found in wildlife are still very small relative to those shown to cause damage in laboratory animals, he noted.

"What we've done is a global survey that shows you, for the first time, that this compound is out there," Giesy said. "We found a good testing method and discovered small amounts [of PFOS] in these remote areas. That surprised me."

Because PFOS accumulates in blood, there is concern about exposure to the chemical worldwide, although no human health problems have been seen in factory workers with occupational exposure to the compound more than 100 times that of the general population, according to Larry Zobel, 3M's medical director. That concern prompted the company to voluntarily begin phasing out the compound in May 2000 in favor of a more benign alternative.

The data from the study show higher PFOS concentrations among animals in urban-industrial areas, according to Giesy. Mammals had the highest doses, followed by birds and fish, he added. Further work is necessary to determine precisely how PFOS became so widespread that it can be found virtually anywhere, Giesy noted.

In previous laboratory testing, adverse health effects in animals were only seen at doses far higher than those found in the current study, according to Giesy. For example, he said, at doses more than 1,000 times greater than the worst study sample, rats' offspring died within days of birth.

PFOS will be phased out of use in all products by 2002, meaning that the compound will no longer be used in 3M products after existing supplies are sold, according to Zobel. Some reformulated Scotchgard® products, starting with carpet treatments, are already in the consumer market, and the rest will enter as supplies are exhausted. 3M is the only U.S. producer of PFOS.

John P. Giesy, Ph.D., is a professor in the department of zoology and at the National Food Safety and Toxicology Center at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Research Finds A Compound Associated With Scotchgard More Widespread In Environment And Wildlife Than First Thought." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 April 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/04/010410085108.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2001, April 11). Research Finds A Compound Associated With Scotchgard More Widespread In Environment And Wildlife Than First Thought. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/04/010410085108.htm
American Chemical Society. "Research Finds A Compound Associated With Scotchgard More Widespread In Environment And Wildlife Than First Thought." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/04/010410085108.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) — Several companies unveiled virtual reality headsets at the Tokyo Game Show, Asia's largest digital entertainment exhibition. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

AP (Sep. 17, 2014) — The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it plans to keep a key interest rate at a record low because a broad range of U.S. economic measures remain subpar. Stocks hit an all-time high on the news. (Sept. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) — Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT's Robot Cheetah Unleashed — Can Now Run, Jump Freely

MIT's Robot Cheetah Unleashed — Can Now Run, Jump Freely

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — MIT developed a robot modeled after a cheetah. It can run up to speeds of 10 mph, though researchers estimate it will eventually reach 30 mph. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins