By Rachael Rettner
A group of compounds used in a variety of products, including water-resistant clothing and microwave popcorn, may prevent childhood vaccinations from working properly, a new study says.
In the study, children who had higher concentrations of these compounds, called perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), in their blood had lower immune responses to diphtheria and tetanus vaccinations. An insufficient immune response to a vaccination can mean a child is actually vulnerable to catching a disease even though they’ve beenvaccinated against it.
Indeed, the levels of antibodies in the blood of some children exposed to PFCs indicated they were not protected against these diseases by age 7.
“When we take our kids to the doctor’s office to get their shots, we expect that the vaccines are going to work,” said study researcher Dr. Philippe Grandjean, of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. “What we found was that there was an increasing risk that they didn’t work if the kids had been exposed to the PFCs,” Grandjean said.
Steve adds: be careful when microwaving popcorn not to open the hot bag and inhale the fumes. They can cause a health problem called Popcorn Lung, which has sickened dozens of employees at popcorrn manufactures.