Sustained Outrage

C8 update: Kids, chemicals and vaccines

We had a story in this morning’s Gazette about another troublesome study of C8’s potential human health effects, reporting:

Researchers have found that children exposed to the toxic chemical C8 may experience reduced effectiveness of childhood vaccinations, according to a significant new study being published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study discovered lower levels of antibodies that vaccines provide to fight infections among children with elevated exposures to C8 and similar chemicals that have been widely used in nonstick food packaging, stain-resistant textiles, nonstick cookware and water-resistant clothing.

Harvard University researchers warned that the results, if replicated in future studies, could indicate that perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs, are related to much broader immune system problems beyond the two vaccines they studied.

“These findings suggest a decreased effect of childhood vaccines and may reflect a more general immune system deficit,” wrote Dr. Philippe Grandjean, lead author and an adjunct professor of environmental health at the Harvard School of Public Health.

You can read the paper yourself here.

But there’s another paper just out in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives that is also worth a look. That paper reported:

In summary, we observed that children had higher PFOA concentrations compared to their mothers. The ratio was the highest among children up to age five years where, on average, children had PFOA serum concentrations 44% higher than their mothers. The ratio was significantly higher for boys compared to girls for children aged >5 years. In a population exposed to elevated PFOA concentrations via contaminated drinking water, children seemed to concentrate the chemical more than their mothers up to about age 12. This is probably due to exposure via drinking water as well as exposure in utero and via breast milk. Children had higher PFOS concentrations than their mothers and this persisted at least until 19 years of age, with on average concentrations in children 42% higher than in their mothers. In utero and lactational exposure appears to make less of a contribution for PFOS than PFOA. Further studies are warranted on the child-mother PFAA relationship to understand how children’s exposure and rate of uptake vary as they grow.