Society

Research in the Faroes examines the rate of chemical transfer from mother to fetus

Environmental epidemiologists studying the presence of polyfluoroalkyl substance, PFAS, compounds in new mothers and their babies found that women with gestational diabetes had a significantly higher rate of transferring the synthetic chemicals to their fetuses.

That is according to National Science Foundation.

The chemicals are linked with increasing health concerns, including cancer risk, hormone interference, immune system suppression and developmental disruptions in infants and children.

Nationa Science Foundation writes that blood and umbilical cord samples from 151 mother-newborn pairs in the Faroe Islands were examined by Youssef Oulhote, an epidemiologist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst,  and public health colleagues at Sorbonne University in Paris, the University of Southern Denmark, the Faroese Hospital System and Harvard University.

The local population of the Faroe Islands is genetically and socioeconomically homogeneous, minimizing confounding factors in the research. “Most importantly, they consume whale, which is high in the food chain, so it accumulates many of the contaminants,” Oulhote explains, according to nsf.gov.

 

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