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03/24/2011

Some PFCs with that? Non-stick chemicals and menopause

A new study to be published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism examined the levels of PFCs (think non-stick pans and grease-resistant food packaging) in women between the ages of 18 and 65. Researches also looked and the women's menopausal status.

What are PFCs?

PFCs (perfluorochemicals) are used in creating non-stick products like: grease-resistant coatings on food contact paper, stain repellent in carpets and other home furnishings, water repellant in outdoor clothing and equipment, and non-stick pans. The links to adverse health effects are many, including: cancer, endocrine disruption, and thyroid problems.

Research Findings

After looking at data for nearly 26,000 women (the largest study of this kind to date), researchers found that higher levels of PFCs are related to higher odds that women between 42 and 64 have gone through menopause. Women in the same age group with higher levels of PFCs had lower levels of the hormone oestrogen than women who had low levels of PFCs.

The study's lead author, Dr. Sarah Knox, said "Our findings suggest PFCs are associated with endocrine disruption in women and that further research on mechanisms is warrented."

Had enough?

Unfortunately, this study is not the first (nor will it be the last) that has investigated the links between the thousands of unregulated chemicals used in our everyday products and negative health consequences. It's another reminder that the chemicals we are unknowingly (and often, unwillingly) exposed to at every turn can be affecting our health, and that's a problem.

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