Prenatal PFC exposure:<br>The weight just won't stick
That babies are being born with man-made chemicals in their bloodstreams isn't news in these parts, but the results of two studies released this month indicate direct physical effects from prenatal exposure. Babies exposed in the womb to perfluorochemicals (PFCs) appear likely to be born slightly smaller than others.
PFCs are used in non-stick cookware (think Teflon) and stain-resistant fabric (like Scotchguard), among other things. The EPA has acknowledged that these global contaminants are a likely cause of cancer, and has encouraged manufacturers to phase the chemicals out by 2015, but (from USA Today)
Leo Trasande, assistant director of Mount Sinai Center for Children's Health and the Environment in New York, says the studies suggest companies should phase out these chemicals even sooner.Although the researchers in charge of the studies acknowledge that exposed infants' smaller size is not necessarily indicative of health problems, but that doesn't mean you should go around licking Teflon pans. The EPA advises that it's wise to limit exposure to PFCs, even if all the results aren't in yet.