Pediatric Exposures to Persistent Environmental Chemicals

Sarah Dee Geiger*

Pediatric Exposures to Persistent Environmental Chemicals

Traditional risk factors are responsible for about 70% of the population attributable
risk of Cardiovascular Disease. Common environmental exposures are known to be
responsible for some portion of the remaining 30%.

Therefore, it is important to study chemicals like the class known as Perfluoroalkyl Chemicals
or Perfluoroalkyl Substances. Two of the most highly studied PFCs are Perfluorooctanoic Acid and
Perfluoro octane Sulfonate.

PFCs are persistent in the environment and associations have been
shown with a whole host of negative health outcomes in laboratory animals,
including endocrine-disrupting properties as well as developmental effects.

To make matters worse, PFCs have been detected in the blood of >98% of the US population
and epidemiological studies have demonstrated associations between PFOA and PFOS,
and many negative health outcomes such as cancer, CVD, osteoarthritis, hyperuricemia, pregnancy-induced
hypertension, endocrine disruption, dyslipidemia, and reproductive effects, often times
even at baseline levels typical of the general population’s exposure level.

Intermediate cardiovascular disease outcomes among children are known risk factors
for earlier onset of more severe forms of CVD, as well as other types of intermediate CVD that
tend to cluster together.

In this context, Frisbee et al., using C8 Health Project data noted a significant
positive association among highly exposed children between PFCs and total
cholesterol and Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol.

Another study by Geiger et al. confirmed the associations among children
using nationally representative US data, showing an overall positive,
significant association between both PFOA and PFOS, and total cholesterol and LDL-C.

Pediatr Neonatal Nurs Open J. 2014; 1(1): e1-e2. doi: 10.17140/PNNOJ-1-e001