Food packaging reduces immune response

Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) are widely used in manufacturing and food packaging but are known to contaminate drinking water, food and food chains, and have elimination half-lives in humans of at least four years, researchers say.

The study of 587 children in the remote Faroe Islands (where frequent consumption of seafood is associated with increased PFC exposure) took measurements of PFC levels in the mother pre-birth, and in the child at five and seven years old.

Serum antibody concentrations for tetanus and diphtheria toxoids were taken at five and seven years old.

Increasing levels of PFCs correlated with decreased antibody levels in response to vaccination, the researchers found.

A twofold greater concentration of major PFCs in child serum was associated with a difference of -49% (or halving) of the overall antibody concentration.

The levels of PFCs found in the children were also similar to those found in