Researchers from the West Virginia University School of Public Health in Morgantown have found a strong correlation between human exposure to a common household chemical and cardiovascular disease in the U.S. population. The chemical, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), has been used since the mid-20th century by such companies as 3M and DuPont in a variety of applications, such as carpeting, apparel, upholstery, leather, floor waxes, and electrical insulation. PFOA has also been used in the manufacture of Teflon and Gore-Tex. Some types of food packaging such as microwave popcorn bags have also been found to contain PFOA, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA).
In their article, “Perfluorooctanoic Acid and Cardiovascular Disease in U.S. Adults,” published this month in Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers Anoop Shankar, Jie Xiao, and Alan Ducatman write that “PFOA is detectable in the blood of more than 98 percent of the US population.” Their new study of 1,261 people shows that higher blood levels of PFOA are associated with increased occurrence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and peripheral arterial disease (PAD), independent of other factors such as age, race, sex, ethnicity, smoking status, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol.
Photo credits: Jean-Pierre, Howcheng