Published online, ahead of print, in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, the researchers found "increased odds of ADHD in children with higher serum PFC levels." The researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to compare the PFC levels found in serum samples taken from 571 children, ages 12 to 15. The parents of 48 of these children reported their children were diagnosed with ADHD, one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders in children.
NHANES is an ongoing national survey of a representative sample of the U.S. population that gathers data on dietary and health factors conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
PFCs are highly stable compounds used in industrial and commercial products like stain-resistance coatings, food packaging, and fire-fighting foams. In a 2003-2004 survey, NHANES examined 2,094 blood samples taken from the U.S. population and found more than 98 percent of the sample had detectable serum levels of PFCs, according to the study. Once absorbed into the body, it can take years for some types of PFCs to be partially eliminated.
Although the study indicates there is a link between PFCs and ADHD, lead author Kate Hoffman said it is not known if there is a causal relationship between the two.
"There's a link between this exposure and outcome but we're not really sure what way that goes," said Hoffman, PhD, who conducted the study while completing her doctorate in environmental health at BUSPH. "What we can say is children with this outcome tend to have higher levels of PFCs in their blood." Because the PFC measurements were collected at the same time as the parental report of ADHD diagnosis, Hoffman said it is unknown whether children with ADHD engage in behavior leading to increased PFC exposure or if higher serum PFC levels in children result in ADHD.
The researchers examined the connection between four PFCs, perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), and perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS) and samples from children in which there were parental reports of ADHD diagnosis.
The authors focused on ADHD because studies on animals have suggested exposure to PFCs can have neurotoxic effects. There is little information, however, on the chemicals' effects on human development.
ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders, Hoffman said. It is also unknown what causes ADHD, she said, but genetic and environmental factors have been associated with the disorder.
"Given the extremely prevalent exposure to PFCs, further investigation into the impact of PFC exposure on ADHD and other neurodevelopmental endpoints is warranted," the authors wrote.
Co-authors of the article include Boston University School of Public Health faculty members Thomas Webster, DSc, associate professor of environmental health; Janice Weinberg, ScD, associate professor of biostatistics; Verónica Vieira, MS, DSc, associate professor of environmental health; and Marc G. Weisskopf, PhD, of the Harvard School of Public Health. The study was funded in part by the Boston University Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Environmental Exposures and Health and by a grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health (NIEHS), National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The full study is available on the Environmental Health Perspectives website.
Elana Zak | EurekAlert!
Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
16.07.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
16.07.2018 | Life Sciences
16.07.2018 | Earth Sciences