Toxins found in fire-extinguishing foam, Gore-Tex linked to diabetes

Perflurorinated compounds (PFCs), environmental toxins that are found in fire-extinguishing foam and water-resistant textiles, could be linked to diabetes, according to a new study from Uppsala University in Sweden.

The research found that people with high levels of PFCs in their blood were more likely to have diabetes – findings that support other research linking the blood sugar condition to elevated levels of environmental toxins like pesticides and phthalates.

Perflurorinated compounds are also found in widely used things like non-stick cookware, microwave popcorn bags and ski wax.

PFCs run rampant

After testing more than 1,000 70-year-old men and women for levels of seven different PFCs, the researchers found that nearly all of the individuals in the study had PFCs in their blood – and that those with the highest levels of the toxin were more likely to have diabetes.

"We saw that high levels, especially of one of the perfluorinated compounds, perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), were linked to diabetes," said Monica Lind, associate professor at the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at Uppsala University.

The team also found that perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) was linked to the disruption of insulin secretion from the pancreas.

More information about the study can be found in the journal Diabetologia.

Source: University of Uppsala

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