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3M chemicals may cause low birthweight babies

Posted Aug 26 2008 4:31pm

Tom Elko sent me this post from Skybluewaters.com, a great regional Minnesota environmental site. I *do* have a friend who killed her birds by heating (NOT overheating, even) Teflon. Here's what it may do to babies:

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Chemicals produced by 3M that have been discovered in east metro drinking water, metro lakes, the Mississippi River, and elsewhere have been linked to low birthweight in newborns according to two new studies.

Liz Szabo of USA Today reports .

Babies exposed in the womb to chemicals used in non-stick cookware and other products may be born slightly smaller than other infants, two new studies report.

Earlier tests on animals have linked two chemicals, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), to cancer and developmental problems.

Studies also show that the chemicals can remain in the environment — and in the body — for many years.

Scientists say the studies, both of which are published in Environmental Health Perspectives , are significant because they measure the effects of lower levels in humans.

In an article published online Aug. 16, researchers tested blood from 1,400 pregnant women in a Danish birth registry. Babies of women with high PFOA levels were on average 4 ounces lighter than those born to mothers with low levels, the study reports. The study was paid for by the International Epidemiology Institute, which receives support from chemical manufacturer 3M.

On Wednesday, a public records disclosure form revealed that 3M hired lobbying firm McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP . The Associated Press reported that the “ firm will lobby on health-related issues and policies at the Department of Health and Human Services .”

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