Read the full article by Tasha Stoiber (EWG)

“Toxic PFAS chemicals, notorious for contaminating drinking water supplies across the U.S., are harmful to nearly every human organ, and the immune system is particularly vulnerable. PFAS mixtures, which are used in a variety of consumer products, can be found in the body of nearly every American and in the developing fetus.

Studies suggest a connection between PFAS exposure and suppressed immune function, lower vaccine effectiveness, hypersensitivity and greater risk of autoimmune diseases. A recent review of human epidemiological studies by Rappazzo et al. shows that PFAS may influence antibody response to vaccination and other health issues, such as asthma.[i]

A study published in October by renowned environmental health expert Philippe Grandjean, M.D., and colleagues at the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health found that higher levels of PFAS in the blood, specifically PFBA, were associated with increased severity of Covid-19 infections. PFBS is one of the only known PFAS to substantially accumulate in lung tissue, and this connection may be linked to the study findings.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry have acknowledged in a statement that PFAS exposure harms the immune system and may put certain populations at greater risk of contracting Covid-19 and greater risk of increased severity of infection.

Tests commissioned by Environmental Working Group, Commonweal and Rachel’s Network, in 2005 and 2009, revealed that American babies are born contaminated, via the umbilical cord, with PFAS and other toxic chemicals.[ii]

In a 2016 review of PFAS immunotoxicity, the National Toxicology Program concluded that two of the most studied members of this large family of chemicals, PFOA and PFOS, can pose ‘an immune hazard to humans based on a high level of evidence that PFOA (and PFOS) suppressed the antibody response from animal studies and a moderate level of evidence from studies in humans.’[iii] These studies on antibody response are some of the strongest evidence of adverse effects on the human immune system.

The link between higher blood levels of PFAS and reduced antibody production following vaccination has been observed in studies of both children and adults. Although nutrition, exercise and other factors affect immune response, PFAS also clearly plays a role. The developing immune system may be particularly vulnerable to immunotoxicity in the earliest stages of life, so it is essential to protect children’s health from PFAS during that time…”