Exposure to PFAS — the “Forever” Chemical-During Pregnancy Results in an Increase in Heart and Metabolic Problems Among Adolescence

April 15, 2021 | Gestational (during pregnancy) and childhood exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) increases cardiometabolic risk, or the risk of heart diseases and metabolic disorders, later in life, according to a Brown University study published in Environment International. Past Studies associate exposure to chemical pollutants with increased susceptibility to adverse health effects during critical fetal and childhood developmental periods. Some of these health effects are cardiometabolic risk factors, including obesity, insulin issues, abnormal blood pressure, that increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) and metabolic disorders (e.g., type 2 diabetes). PFAS are of particular concern as these endocrine-disrupting chemicals are common in non-stick cookware cleaning/personal care products, food packaging, and other consumer products. They are now being found in pesticide products. Because of their ubiquitous use in many products, studies report that PFAS com- pounds are detectable in infants, children, and pregnant women. Furthermore, pregnant women can readily transfer compounds to the developing fetus through the placenta. Independent research by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) finds the widely used insecticide Anvil 10+10 contains high levels of PFAS from contamination. Although EPA does not regulate PFAS in pesticide formulas, EPA still lists these substances in the inert ingredient database. Many companies have patents on file for pesticide formulations containing PFAS. [Li, Nan et al. Gestational and childhood exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances and cardiometabolic risk at age 12 years. Environment International. 147: 106344, 2021.]