Scientists are concerned that exposure to chemicals used in non-stick frying pans could raise cholesterol levels in children after finding a link. They have no proof, but the West Virginia team says further research is needed to rule it out.
They studied over 12,000 children involved in a lawsuit regarding a water supply contaminated with the same chemicals used on non-stick pans. Experts stressed that the children's exposure was much higher than typical.Unavoidable
Most people are exposed to the man-made perfluoroalkyl acid chemicals because they are used commonly in manufacturing.
Perfluoroalkyl acids like PFOA and PFOS give non-stick pans heat resistance, and also come from the breakdown of compounds used in commercial food packaging and factory treatments for fabrics, carpets and stain-resistant clothing. Experts know these chemicals can get into the body and travel to the liver - the organ responsible for making cholesterol and handling any fat that comes from the diet. And other studies have already suggested that PFOA and PFOS may change how well the body deals with these fats.
Stephanie Frisbee and colleagues at West Virginia University School of Medicine set out to investigate this further, looking at a group of children who had been exposed to particularly high levels of PFOA through an industrial accident.