In an article published on July 18, 2013 the online news provider Huffington Post reports on a study linking increased blood levels of perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) to mild hypothyroidism. Mild hypothyroidism results in fatigue, weight gain and menstrual irregularities in women. Researchers from En Chu Kong Hospital, National Taiwan University Hospital and National Taiwan University College of Public Health found higher blood levels of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, CAS #335-67-1) to be associated with higher levels of triiodothyronine, a thyroid hormone, in women. The researchers analyzed blood levels of PFOA and perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS, CAS #3871-99-6) of a representative sample of 1181 people from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2007–2010. The findings were published on July 17, 2013 in the peer-reviewed scientific Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Chien-Yu Lin, MD, of En Chu Kong Hospital and co-author of the study states in the Huffington Post that irrespective of PFOS’ phase-out, the endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) remain of concern because of their persistence. Lin continues that “too little information is available about the possible long-term effects” of perfluorinated chemicals and more research is warranted.

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Wen, L-L. et al (2013). “Association Between Serum Perfluorinated Chemicals and Thyroid Function in U.S. Adults: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007–2010.Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (published online July 17, 2013).