• 'Forever chemicals' linked to high blood pressure in women, new study s

    From Ban Fracking@21:1/5 to All on Wed Jun 15 21:21:02 2022
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    MADISON – Women who have high levels of "forever chemicals" in
    their bodies may be at a higher risk for developing blood
    pressure issues later in life, according to a new study that
    examined a group of women over the course of 18 years.

    The study, conducted by researchers at the University of
    Michigan, found that PFAS exposure may be an "underappreciated
    risk factor" for cardiovascular disease, one researcher said.

    The study found that women with higher levels of PFAS in their
    bodies had a 71% increase in their risk for high blood pressure,
    the first study of its kind to examine possible links between
    the compounds that portion of women's health, said researcher
    Sung Kyun.

    The study included more than 1,000 women who were between the
    ages of 42 and 52 between November 1995 and October 1997.
    Officially launched in 1999, the study followed the women
    through 2017, with annual check-ins. Though the study wasn't
    originally launched with PFAS in mind, Kyun said he had the
    opportunity to incorporate the compounds.

    During the course of the evaluation, 470 women developed high
    blood pressure, and researchers were able to connect those high
    levels with a series of different compounds within the "forever
    chemical" family, including PFOA, one of the most well-
    researched and well-known.

    The study focused on women in the middle age range because of
    the changes that typically happen to their bodies.

    "This critical life stage is very important, but scientific
    research is lacking during that stage," he said. "That's why we
    examined this population."

    Though the study looked at only women, it doesn't mean that men
    can't be impacted in similar ways, Kyun said. But research has
    suggested that women may be exposed at higher rates to PFAS.

    "Women are more likely to use consumer products that contain
    PFAS," he said.

    Kyun said researchers were able to analyze the total amount of
    PFAS in the women's blood year over year and said there has been
    a marked reduction in the compounds since 1999 and 2000, when
    companies began to ramp down use.

    What are PFAS and their impacts to the human body?
    PFAS are a family of man-made chemicals used for their water-
    and stain-resistant qualities in a multitude of products people
    come into contact with, such as clothing and carpet, nonstick
    cookware and packaging. The family includes 5,000 compounds,
    which remain both in the environment and human body over time.

    The chemicals have been linked to types of kidney and testicular
    cancers, lower birth weights, harm to immune and reproductive
    systems, altered hormone regulation and altered thyroid
    hormones. The chemicals enter the human body largely through
    drinking water, but can also be consumed if food comes into
    contact with PFAS-containing packaging.

    More:Here's what you should know about PFAS, the 'forever
    contaminant' being identified in more locations across Wisconsin

    “PFAS are known as ‘forever chemicals’ because they never
    degrade in the environment and contaminate drinking water, soil,
    air, food and numerous products we consume or encounter
    routinely," study author Ning Ding, a post-doctoral fellow in
    the department of epidemiology at the University of Michigan
    School of Public Health, said in a news release. "One study
    estimated that two of the most common ’forever chemicals’ are
    found in most household drinking water and are consumed by more
    than two-thirds of Americans."

    How to reduce amount of PFAS you encounter
    Kyun said that there are steps that consumers can take to reduce
    the amount of PFAS in their lives, like staying away from
    nonstick cookware, not buying stain-proof couches or carpets and
    avoiding waterproof mascara.

    But the best way to reduce the amount of PFAS that the normal
    American comes into contact would be to put strict regulations
    in place for the chemicals.

    "At the individual level, it's impossible to avoid exposure," he
    said. "It's more important that we regulate PFAS through
    legislation. If we have stricter regulations, everyone can

    Lawmakers should take into account studies like this one that
    show the real-world harm PFAS have, Kyun said.

    "It is very important for our policymakers to do something and
    act on PFAS exposure," he said. "We have a lot of scientific
    evidence that consistently tells us that reduction in PFAS is
    really important."

    In addition to policymakers, Kyun said that doctors should take
    into consideration talking with patients about how PFAS can have
    certain risk factors if a patient is exposed.

    "Not only are doing physical activity and healthier diets are
    important," he said. "But reducing exposure by limiting PFAS
    sources is important, too. Clinicians need to understand."

    Laura Schulte can be reached at leschulte@jrn.com and on Twitter
    at @SchulteLaura.

    https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/health/2022/06/13/pfas- forever-chemicals-linked-high-blood-pressure-women-new-study- university-of-michigan-shows/7579765001/

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