Common Chemicals May Weaken Effect of Childhood Vaccines, Immune System

TUESDAY, January 24, 2012 — Certain vaccines may not work as well in children who have been exposed to high levels of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), a family of chemicals used to make everything from microwave popcorn bags and pizza boxes to carpets and nonstick cookware, new research suggests.

In a study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that the higher the level of PFCs in a child’s blood, the fewer antibodies the child produced after receiving vaccines for diphtheria and tetanus. In addition, kids with higher PFC exposure were more likely than their peers to have antibody levels too low to provide protection against those infectious diseases.

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