Effects in children with the highest exposures suggest immunizations may fail to protect some from disease
Tiny concentrations of two common pollutants — chemicals known as PFOA and PFOS — in the blood may be linked to impaired immunity in children, a new study finds. In kids with the highest exposure to the chemicals, vaccinations can fail to trigger sufficient quantities of protective antibodies.
“We were shocked, to be frank, in the magnitude of the effect,” says study leader Philippe Grandjean, a physician at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. He and his European colleagues describe their findings in the Jan. 25 Journal of the American Medical Association.
The long-lived pollutants — part of a class of chemicals called perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs — have been generated over the years by the production of chemicals that impart nonstick properties and water- and stain-repellency to fabrics, cookware and more, including older formulations of treatments marketed under such trade names as Teflon and Scotch