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Extramural Research

PFCs May Cause Lowered Immune Response

Philippe  Grandjean

EPA STAR researcher Philippe Grandjean (and others) have published a paper in JAMA which shows evidence that suggests that  children’s exposure to perflourinated compunds can lower the effectiveness of childhood vaccines by lowering their ability to make antibodies for tetanus and diptheria later in life.

The study tested the levels of PFCs in 600 children and their mothers from pregnancy to ages 5 and 7, as well as the children’s ability to make antibodies against diptheria and tetanus.

Researchers found that increased levels of PFCs in mothers and children were associated with a decreased number of antibodies in the children.  Double the concentration of PFC in the mothers was associated with 40 percent less antibodies in the children and children with double the level of PFC showed approximately a 50% reduction of antibodies.

PFCs are found in Teflon cookware and some food wrappings (microwave popcorn bags and pizza boxes), cleaning products, some shampoos, floor wax and carpet treatments, and in some industrial waste streams.

For more information about the paper published in JAMA see:

For more information about this project see:
Children's Vulnerability to Environmental Immunotoxicant Exposure


PFCs, Chemicals Widespread in Environment, Linked to Lowered Immune Response to Childhood Vaccinations Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer

For more info on EPA actions regarding PFCs see: Long-Chain Perfluorinated Chemicals (PFCs) Action Plan Summary

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