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Non-stick coating linked to thyroid disease

By Owen Weldon     Jan 21, 2010 in Health
A study that was released said that chemicals used to make non-stick surfaces are being linked to an increased rate of thyroid disease.
Experts say that in order to confirm that the chemicals are the cause of the increased rate in thyroid disease more research is needed.
The two chemicals Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanoic sulfonate (PFOS) are used to make non-stick coating and textiles that are water repellent.
Most countries do not allow the use of the two chemicals because some research links PFOA to increased thyroid problems in animals.
The journal Environmental Health Perspectives published a new study that links the chemicals to thyroid problems in humans.
The study was led by Professor Tamara Galloway and her team looked at 3966 adults’ blood samples from a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey. The adults were ages 20 years old and older.
Higher rates of thyroid disease were found in people who had high amounts of PFOA in their blood.
The people who had the highest amount of PFOA in their blood were more likely to have thyroid problems than those who had the lowest amount of PFOA in their blood.
More than 15 percent of women in the top 25 percent came down with thyroid disease compared to 8 percent who had the lowest amount of PFOA in their blood.
The co-author, Dr. David Melzer, of the study said that there is definitely strong evidence supported by statistics that there is a link between blood levels in people and thyroid disease.
The doctor also said that there could be other reasons why the people with high amounts of PFOA in their blood had an increased rate of thyroid disease.
Almost everybody has low levels of PFOA in their blood but it is unclear how it gets there in the first place.
Sources say that the chemical could get into peoples’ blood by food and water that is contaminated.
The chemical may be exposed to people from items such as footwear, textiles, furniture and carpets because they can cause indoor air to become contaminated.
Chris Winder is a professor at the University of New South Wales and he says that the study suggests more research is needed to learn more about the effects of plastics, especially ones that were considered to be safe at one point.
He said that a small increase in thyroid disease is not enough because thyroid disease is pretty common.
He does admit that the study does show that another health problem due to plastics requires close study and possibly reevaluate how the use of the chemicals in plastics are being manufactured.
PFOA should not be taken as the component that causes thyroid disease according to Professor Brian Priestly who is the director of the Australian Centre for Human Health Risk Assessment at Monash University in Melbourne. He says "It was not possible to determine the nature of the thyroid disease, which can include either increased or decreased thyroid function associated with quite different mechanisms."
A Taiwanese study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology said that people with real high levels of PFOA had increased enzyme levels which could lead to hepatitis and cirrhosis.
More about Disease, Thyroid, Non-stick
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