In an article published on April 28, 2015 in the news magazine Newsweek, journalist Conor Gaffey reports on a new study showing that exposure to perfluorinated compounds could increase the risk of miscarriage. In the study, published in the peer-reviewed, open access journal PLoS ONE, Jensen and colleagues invited newly pregnant women residing in the Municipality of Odense, Denmark to join the Odense Child Cohort. Out of 392 women assessed before the twelfth week of their pregnancy, 56 women suffered a miscarriage. Those who suffered a miscarriage were found to have much higher levels of perfluorinated alkylated substances (PFAS) in their blood, especially the more recently used perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA, CAS 335-76-2), perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS, CAS 355-46-4) and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA, CAS 375-95-1). PFAS are used widely in greaseproof food packaging. Tina Kold Jensen, the study’s first author and professor of environmental medicine at the University of Southern Denmark, says she was shocked by the results and called on the EU to consider the results for future regulation. Jensen asserts that if further research proves the damaging effects of these compounds, the EU should regulate their use in food packaging to protect public health. Jensen’s team will be monitoring the children of the women included in the current study in order to determine whether PFAS have an effect on their physical and cognitive development.
Conor Gaffey (April 28, 2015). “Fast-food wrappers could increase miscarriage risk by 16 times.” Newsweek
Jensen, T.K. et al. (2015). “Association between perfluorinated compound exposure and miscarriage in Danish pregnant women.” PLoS ONE 10(4): e0123496 (open access).