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Perfluorinated Compounds and Immunotoxicity in Children

Larry R. Zobel, MD, MPH; Geary W. Olsen, DVM, PhD; John L. Butenhoff, PhD
JAMA. 2012;307(18):1910-1911. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.3599.
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To the Editor: Dr Grandjean and colleagues1 suggested that perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) may increase a child's risk for not being protected against diphtheria and tetanus and may indicate the potential for other immune system deficits. Not cited were data that do not support their concern, and the authors did not adequately characterize immunotoxicology data.

A Danish study examined whether perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) may impair children's immune systems.2 Fei et al2 randomly selected 1400 pregnant women from 91 827 persons in the Danish National Birth Cohort between 1996 and 2002 and investigated their offspring's history of hospitalizations for infectious diseases through 2008 (n = 363 children). Prenatal serum concentrations of PFOS and PFOA, similar to the values in the study by Grandjean et al,1 were not associated with hospitalizations for infectious diseases. Fei et al2 concluded that their data did not support the hypothesis that prenatal PFOS and PFOA exposures decrease resistance to childhood infections.

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May 9, 2012
Philippe Grandjean, MD, DMSc; Carsten Heilmann, MD, DMSc
JAMA. 2012;307(18):1910-1911. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.3633.
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