You may be aware of the rising rates of liver disease in the U.S. The uptick in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) cases is especially alarming in kids. According to the American Liver Foundation, a whopping 10% of U.S. children (and 38% of obese kids) have liver disease. Now the results of a new scientific study indicate that PFAS* (the toxic “forever” chemical) exposure in pregnancy is contributing to rising rates of liver disease in kids. The results come from the first comprehensive study to look at the association between endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC), including PFAS, and rates of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in children. The study showed that kids whose mothers were exposed to toxic PFAS chemicals during pregnancy had an increased risk for contracting liver disease. NAFLD in children can lead to chronic liver disease–and liver cancer in adulthood.
*The family of PFAS chemicals are known endocrine-disrupting chemicals and toxic to humans; they are ubiquitous in the U.S. and can be found in food packaging and plastic water bottles (where it can leach into the food you eat and drink), cookware/bake ware/cooking utensils, stain-resistant and waterproof furniture, clothing, carpet and more. PFAS chemicals do not break down in the environment or human/animal bodies, thus the nickname “forever” chemicals. PFAS chemicals have been shown in scientific studies to adversely affect the immune system and hormonal system.
What can you do?
Educate yourself about where PFAS chemicals and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals are hiding.
For more information on where PFAS chemicals are hiding as well as the scientific findings about PFAS chemicals and their impact on health, go to our blog, scroll down to the bottom, and enter the letters “PFAS” into the search box. Or contact us and we will conduct a search of our scientific database and send you the links.
CFL founder Dr. Pam offers a program for pregnant and planning-to-become-pregnant women on the chemicals to avoid during pregnancy, where those chemicals are hiding and alternatives to avoid the unwanted chemicals.
At a minimum, pregnant women (and those planning to become pregnant) should avoid ultra-processed foods (including fast food) and eat only fresh foods (organic when possible) that you make yourself. Also avoid stain-resistant and waterproof clothing, upholstery and carpets, as well as cookware and cooking utensils that may contain PFOS/PFOA (two of the most common PFAS chemicals). Check with your local water department or go here) to verify your drinking water is not contaminated with PFAS chemicals. And finally, see the recent scientific evidence on PFAS found in breast milk.
Journal reference: Vishal Midya, Elena Colicino, David V. Conti, et al. Association of Prenatal Exposure to Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals With Liver Injury in Children, Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), Network Open. 2022;5(7):e2220176. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.20176