CHICAGO (Jan. 27, 12:15 p.m. ET) — A paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reports that elevated exposures to perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in children are associated with reduced immune response to routine immunizations (tetanus and diphtheria) in children between 5-7 years old.
The study suggests that exposure to PFCs, before and after birth, may lower a child's ability to make disease-fighting antibodies for tetanus and diphtheria later in life.
Lead researcher Dr Philippe Grandjean from the Harvard School of Public Health followed over 600 children born at the National Hospital in the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic Sea. They chose this fishing community because the frequent intake of seafood is associated with increased exposure to PFCs.
Children and adults are exposed to PFCs through use of everyday products like non-stick pans, stain repellent upholstery, cosmetics, household cleaners, clothing and some food containers.
Speaking about the findings of the study, Grandjean said: “The PFCs make the immune system more sluggish.”