Common chemical found in everything from sofas, carpets to pots, pans linked to increased risk of thyroid disease. http://bit.ly/76NSH1
A common household chemical found in everything from sofas and carpets to pots and pans has been linked to an increased risk of thyroid disease, in the first major study carried out on its effect upon health.
The substance, used to make nonstick cookware, stain-resistant furnishings and greaseproof wrappers, is believed to get into the body through contaminated food or household dust. Once in the body it accumulates in organs and other tissues.
People with high levels of the chemical in their blood were found to be twice as likely to have thyroid problems as those with the lowest levels, according to a survey of medical records of nearly 4,000 otherwise healthy US adults. The study is published in the journal, Environmental Health Perspectives.
Scientists said they cannot be certain the chemical is directly responsible for the rise in thyroid disease but called for a full investigation to assess its safety.
Studies in animals have found that the chemical, PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid), and a sister substance called PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate), can cause thyroid problems and a variety of other medical conditions, including hormone imbalances, liver disease and cancer.
"It's been thought that because they're inert they don't cause any health problems, but we're starting to see some evidence that is suggesting that's not true," said Tamara Galloway, professor of ecotoxicology at Exeter University. "Because these chemicals are inert they are persistent and they build up in the environment and also in human and animal tissues."
We all have trace levels of PFOA in our bodies that we pick up from the environment. The substance is so stable that it persists for years. It has been detected in people around the world and in wildlife as diverse as birds, fish and polar bears.
From Bill Moyers Journal:
Chemicals In Our FoodMay 23, 2008
There may be a potentially dangerous chemical leaching into our food from the containers that we use every day. BILL MOYERS JOURNAL and EXPOSÉ: AMERICA'S INVESTIGATIVE REPORTS examine why, even though studies show that the chemical Bisphenol A can cause cancer and other health problems in lab animals, the manufacturers, their lobbyists, and U.S. regulators say it's safe.
In a watchdog series for the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, a trio of reporters focused on Bisphenol A, a chemical contained in many plastics that is also found in 93% of human beings. The problem at issue? Congress ordered the federal government in 1996 to begin testing and regulating certain chemicals suspected of causing cancer and a host of developmental problems. Eleven years later, not a single compound has been put to that test.
You can read the full series "Chemical Fallout" online, plus ongoing coverage of the fate of Bisphenol A. On May 15, 2008, the SENTINEL reported on some new Congressional hearings:
Members of a Senate consumer affairs subcommittee faulted federal agencies for reacting too slowly to concerns that children are exposed to bisphenol A through leaching from common items such as water bottles, baby bottles and the linings of food and baby-formula cans.More study and more debate is anticipated.