PFAS Are Immunotoxic. Studies Are Showing They Can Increase Chance Of Infection, Including To Covid.

Photo: The Guardian, Patrick T Fallon/AFP/Getty Images

Higher Levels Of PFAS Exposure May Increase Chance Of Covid, Studies Say, The Guardian, 10 March 2022

Public health advocates and researchers have feared since the coronavirus pandemic’s onset that PFAS, which are known to be immunotoxic, could hinder the body’s ability to fight Covid-19, and the four studies represent the first bit of research supporting the theory.

There’s clear science and evidence that immunological response and PFAS are connected and associated – that’s why the Covid aspect is so important to pursue,” said Christel Nielsen, one of the study’s co-authors.

The chemicals are probably immunotoxic because they interfere with the body’s ability to create cells that turn into plasma cells. Plasma generates the antibodies that fight infection, and PFAS compounds appear to impact “key molecules” in that process, said Phillipe Grandjean, an environmental health professor at Harvard.

The chemicals have endocrine-disrupting properties that seem to mimic, block, or otherwise interfere with hormones that affect immunity.

“If you had PFBA in your blood, then you were more likely to go to the hospital, and to stay longer, to get into intensive care and to die from the infection. … The likelihood of this happening accidentally is extremely small,” Grandjean said.

The only way to reduce exposure to PFAS is to get them out of the environment.

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