January 25, 2012
Compounds In Product Packaging Lessen Effectiveness Of Some Vaccinations
Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), a synthetic class of chemicals which are found in a variety of everyday items, have been found in the human body decades after exposure and are believed to lead to earlier menopause and reduced fertility among women. Some of the products that PFCs are found in include non-stick frying pans, waterproof clothing and fast food wrappers.
A new study is bringing to light clues that high exposure to PFCs in the womb or in childhood could also limit the protection offered by vaccinations to children´s health, reports Nick Collins, Science Correspondent for the Telegraph.
Harvard University researchers studied data on 587 children from the Faroe Islands, located in the Norwegian Sea between Scotland and Iceland, measuring PFC levels in the blood of mothers and five-year-olds. The children´s levels of antibodies after receiving tetanus and diphtheria vaccinations at the ages of five and seven were also measured.
The study showed that children with a twofold increase in levels of three major PFCs had a 49 percent lower level of antibodies by the age of seven. The antibody levels were low enough that the children would have “little or no protection” against the diseases.
Harvard University researchers, writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association said, “These findings suggest a decreased effect of childhood vaccines and may reflect a more general immune system deficit.”
“If the associations are causal, the clinical importance of our findings is therefore that PFC exposure may increase a child´s risk for not being protected against diphtheria and tetanus, despite a full schedule of vaccinations.”
Dr. Philippe Grandjean, who led the study, explained to The Telegraph, “Routine childhood immunizations are a mainstay of modern disease prevention. The negative impact on childhood vaccinations from PFCs should be viewed as a potential threat to public health.”
Independent toxicologist, Prof. Anthony Dayan added, “The statement that the antibody levels were below the level accepted for adequate immunity is not properly referenced. The measured level related to immunity (following immunization or boosting) falls, and the level taken as ℠protective´ must be justified.”
But Alastair Hay, of the University of Leeds, said the study, “must be an alert for all health and environment authorities. The implication of this work is that everyday exposure to these chemicals makes us more vulnerable to infections.”
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