Eating takeout and flossing the teeth are routine tasks for many people. However, a new study has found that they could be exposing people to potentially dangerous chemicals.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have become a daily part of human life.
These water- and greaseproof substances are present in many products — from fast food containers to certain types of clothing.
Humans also face exposure to them through contaminated water and even dust.
However, what is most concerning — according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — is that these manmade chemicals continue to build up in the body without breaking down.
Regular exposure to PFAS has led some researchers to examine their impact on human health. So far, results have shown a link to health issues such as high cholesterol, kidney and testicular cancer, and thyroid disease.
A new study has delved further into typical human behaviors to see whether any were associated with PFAS exposure. Participants were 178 middle-aged women, of whom half were African-American and the other half were non-Hispanic white.
These women were already part of the Public Health Institute’s Child Health and Development Studies, which enrolled pregnant women living in Oakland, CA, in 1959–1967. Its aim was to determine the impact that environmental chemicals and other things have on disease.
Scientists from the Silent Spring Institute and the Public Health Institute in Berkeley, CA, used blood samples taken from the women in 2010–2013.
They examined the samples to find levels of 11 types of PFAS. They also interviewed each woman at some point in 2015–2016, asking a series of questions about behaviors potentially linked with PFAS exposure.
They addressed food consumption, dental flossing, and stain-resistant furniture and carpets.