Liver cancer: Expert discusses symptoms and treatments
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Several studies have identified potential cancer-causing qualities in “forever chemicals” that may lead to autism-related behaviours in children. Once they enter the body, the toxic substances may travel to the brains, lungs and other developing organs of unborn babies or toddlers. This could have severe consequences affecting brain development and overall health down the line, studies suggest.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances are a group of thousands of human-made chemicals used widely in consumer and industrial products.
The compounds’ efficiency in repelling grease, water, and oil, has made them popular in the production of baby clothing items.
In new research by the Wasting DC-based Environmental Working Group EWG, the substances were found in toys, clothing, bibs and bedding designed for babies.
A series of laboratory tests revealed significant traces of PFAS and fluorine in all 10 items tested.
Forever chemicals have previously been documented in natural environments like rivers, lakes and oceans, but their presence in everyday items may increase health risks for infants, experts worry.
PFAS do not dissolve naturally in the environment, which means their threat becomes indefinite.
It is their strong carbon-fluorine bonds that allow PFAS to build up in soil, water, air and wildlife.
They become harmful to humans once they enter the body through inhalation after wearing off clothing items as dust.
Sydney Evans, an author of the study, told DailyMail.com that the risks of exposure to the chemicals “far outweigh any sort of stain-proofing”.
Children are believed to be at higher risk of inhalation of PFAS because they put their hands on the floor and into their mouths.
Research earlier this year linked synthetic chemicals to significant elevations in the blood pressure of women.
In previous studies, forever chemicals have also been linked to several deleterious health outcomes in babies, however, including autism and cancer.
A study conducted by the University of Texas in 2021, found that prenatal exposure to PFAS was more likely to experience issues with brain development.
These findings have been echoed by other medical reports describing the detection of chemicals in blood samples and umbilical cords of unborn babies.
Research conducted by the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine in August linked frequent exposure to the chemicals to Hepatocellular carcinoma.
According to the Moffitt Cancer Centre, “hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common and deadly type of liver cancer”.
The chemicals have become ubiquitous since first being used in consumer and industrial products in the 1950s.
The expansion of their use over time means they are now found in food packaging, kitchenware, cosmetics, strain repellants and carpets.
It should be noted that not all PFAS are toxic to humans, but researchers are still trying to map out where the greatest risks lie.
The public is encouraged to take achievable steps to decrease exposure to chemicals, such as checking product labels and reducing non-stick cookware.
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