Tags: chemical | pfc | obese

Household Chemicals Tied to Obesity

Tuesday, 04 Sep 2012 11:08 AM


Pregnant women who are exposed to high levels of common household chemicals are far more likely have babies that are smaller at birth but clinically obese by 20 months of age, according to a new federally funded health study.

Researchers from Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health found children expectant women exposed to polyfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs) – widely used in the production of protective polymer coatings of packaging products, clothes, furniture and non-stick cookware – were not only likely to overweight in childhood, but also to be obese later in life.
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"Previous animal and human research suggests prenatal exposures to PFCs may have harmful effects on fetal and postnatal growth," said lead researcher Michele Marcus, an Emory professor of epidemiology and assistant program director at Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research.
"Our findings are consistent with these studies and emerging evidence that chemicals in our environment are contributing to obesity and diabetes and demonstrate that this trajectory is set very early in life for those exposed."
The study, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, involved 447 British girls and their mothers participating in a long-running health research project that has provided a vast amount of genetic and environmental information since the early 1990s.
The researchers found that even though girls with higher prenatal exposures to PFCs were smaller than average (43rd percentile) at birth, they were heavier than average (58th percentile) by 20 months of age. They were also more likely to be obese later in life.
Marcus noted a recent study in Denmark found that women exposed to PFCs in the womb were more likely to be overweight at age 20 and that studies with mice have shown that exposure in the womb led to higher levels of insulin and heavier body weight in adulthood.
She added that PFCs are used in the production of fluoropolymers found in a variety of consumer products and have been detected in human tissues, breast milk and cord blood.
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Pregnant women exposed to PFCs are more likely to have babies who have weight problems as children.
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2012-08-04
Tuesday, 04 Sep 2012 11:08 AM
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