Chemicals in common products may weaken children’s immune systems

02-07-2012
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Nonstick cookware, stain-resistant fabric, food packaging: Many common household items contain perifluorinated compounds (PFCs). Over the last decade, however, scientists have gotten more and more worried about these chemicals’ health effects—specifically, their effects on children.

Research has already shown that PFCs weaken animals’ immune systems. Now, a study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests kids’ immune systems, too, may be weakened by the compounds. A Harvard-affiliated researcher studied hundreds of children’s responses to vaccinations (as a measure of their immune systems’ strength) and found that the higher the PFC levels in a child’s blood, the feebler their vaccination response.

The Environmental Protection Agency has taken measures to reduce PFCs’ use in American-made products, but in countries from which the U.S. imports products—like China—PFC use isn’t decreasing, and may even be rising.

“We may just be importing products with the same compounds,” Dr. Alan Ducatman, who has studied PFCs, recently told NPR. “I don’t think that we have solved the exposure problem yet.”

Has your child been harmed by a product containing hazardous chemicals? Contact the personal injury attorneys at Hodes Milman Liebeck toll-free at (866) 730-1976, or submit the contact form on our website, hodesmilman.com. We’ve achieved million-dollar verdicts in product liability actions on behalf of our clients.

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