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No-stick chemicals can mimic estrogen

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4:42pm, November 28, 2006

From Montreal, at a meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

Preliminary data indicate that some of the compounds used to keep water from soaking into raincoats, grease from sopping through microwave-popcorn bags, and foods from sticking to cookware have another notable attribute: They can act like estrogen, the primary female-sex hormone.

Recent studies have shown that traces of these ubiquitous coatings, called perfluorinated compounds, regularly turn up in foods and even in human blood.

A research team from Oregon State University in Corvallis injected male and female juvenile trout with any of 36 perfluorinated compounds. Four of the compounds, including a common one known as PFOA, triggered the fish to make vitellogenin, a protein normally produced only by female animals during egg laying. At that time, they have high estrogen concentrations in their bodies.

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