Philippe Grandjean, Ph.D.
2012 - Thoughts on Perflourinated Compounds (PFCs)
NIEHS grantee Philippe Grandjean, M.D., has shown that higher levels of exposure to perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) are associated with reduced immune response in children. The study is one of the first to link childhood exposure to PFCs with immune system deficiency and the results point to the importance of assessing the immunotoxic potential of PFCs. In addition, the immunotoxic effects of PFCs and other environmental contaminants might help explain vaccination failures that have puzzled scientists.
As described in their paper ( Serum vaccine antibody concentrations in children exposed to perfluorinated compounds ) published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Grandjean and his colleagues studied the immunotoxic effects of PFCs by evaluating about 600 children from the Faroe Islands, located between Scotland and Iceland. The people of these islands frequently eat marine food, which exposes them to a wide variety of contaminants, including PFCs, which accumulate in the marine food chain. PFCs are highly persistent in the environment and are widely used in food packaging and textiles, because of their stain-resistance and water-repellant properties.