Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a key chemical in the production of Teflon, is a suspected obesogen. Obesogens are chemicals that can interfere with the body’s metabolism and make people more vulnerable to gaining weight. A November 2015 study has linked PFOA to increased body fat and faster weight gain among young children whose mothers were exposed to high levels during pregnancy. Researchers from Brown University found that impacted children had a more rapid increase in BMI between ages 2-8 and a greater amount of body fat at age eight.
HCWH’s Safer Chemicals team has been following recent policy and research developments around poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) as they continue to come under ever increasing scrutiny, including newer short-chain compounds. PFASs have been linked to negative health outcomes such as increased cancer risk and hypothyroidism. But the alternatives, which were originally touted as a safer option than first-generation longer-chain PFASs, are emerging as new chemicals of concern on a global scale due to their extreme persistence in the environment and emerging concerns about their toxicity.
[Source: Discovery Channel]