PFAS and Pregnancy – Childhood PFAS Exposure Starts in the Womb
The health effects of PFAS are far reaching – affecting people, fish and wildlife. Studies show that these effects begin in the womb with pervasive detection of PFAS in cord blood samples. PFAS pass through the placenta and accumulate in fetal tissue of the lungs, liver and brain. The placenta itself is impacted by PFAS exposure, with impairments like inadequate blood flow to the placenta, abnormal lesions, and higher placental weight. These conditions affect both mother and embryo. Pregnant mothers exposed to PFAS are at greater risk of preeclampsia and increased liver weight. For the developing child, the risks are placental insufficiency, lower birth weight, weakened immune system and developmental effects. Reduced birth weight levels are comparable to levels associated with smoking during early pregnancy.
New studies out of the National Toxicology Program and the Duke School of Medicine report that these effects, previously associated with PFOA and PFOS, also appear with exposure to GenX and the shorter chain 4-carbon PFBS, compounds that were previously thought to be less harmful than PFOA and PFOS. It highlights the importance of a removal media like DEXSORB+ that is capable of removing short and long chain PFAS compounds present in mixed solutions.