Article at a Glance
• A recent study shows that high levels of PFCs (a common chemical used in many products) can weaken our immune system responses.
• The EPA is already starting to phase some PFCs out, but consumers are also encouraged to find healthier alternatives to those products that still contain PFCs.
PFCs or perfluorinated compounds, a common chemical found in products like stain-resistant carpet, fast-food wrappers, microwave popcorn bags, and rain gear, may affect our children’s ability to fight disease.
A study by the University of Southern Denmark in Odense found that children with high levels of PFCs in their blood had a weaker response to childhood vaccines and less resulting antibodies. The decreased number of antibodies may be an indication of a weakened immune system and could affect the way our immune systems are able to fight off infectious diseases. A reduced vaccine response could signal a possible threat to public health.
Although the effects of PFCs are not well understood, experts are becoming increasingly concerned. The Environmental Protection Agency has already started to try to phase out some PFCs. However, researchers from this most recent study have also asked consumers to start demanding safer products in the hope that it will help encourage manufacturers to make change.