NASHVILLE, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Danish infants exposed to chemicals used in nonstick cookware while in their mother’s womb were born at a lower body weight, a study found.
Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville and the University of California at Los Angeles tested blood from 1,400 pregnant women in a Danish birth registry and found that babies of women with high perfluorooctanoate, or PFOA, levels were more than 6 ounces lighter than those born to mothers in the lowest exposure level.
"This is a chemical that we don’t know very much about with regard to its long-term effects in humans," study co-author Joseph McLaughlin, a Vanderbilt epidemiologist, said in a statement.
"It is long lasting and ubiquitous in the environment. It has a long half-life in the human body and it has been found to produce adverse health effects in animal studies but, as to humans, the research is scant and limited to date -- there are a number of research groups looking at the issues of offspring effects and cancer risk because little is known regarding long-term consequences, if any, of these chemicals in humans."
The findings are published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.