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Exposure to Two Perfluorinated Chemicals Linked to Osteoarthritis in Women

By February 19, 2013

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A study published in Environmental Health Perspectives revealed that exposure to two perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), commonly used in numerous industrial processes and consumer products (e.g., stain-resistant and water-resistant fabrics, grease-proof paper containers for food, personal care products, and more), have been linked to a higher prevalence of osteoarthritis, especially in women. The two chemicals are perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS).

The authors of the study assessed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2003-2008). The association was distinct in women, but not in men. Women with the 25% highest exposure to PFOA had twice the risk of developing osteoarthritis compared to women with the lowest 25% of exposure. More studies are needed to identify mechanisms that would account for this health effect.

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