A study shows that the likelihood of death from cardiovascular disease is increased by PFAS

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For the first time, researchers have formally shown that exposure to toxic PFAS increases the likelihood of death by cardiovascular disease, adding a new level of concern to the controversial chemicals’ wide use.
Records further showed an increased likelihood of death from several cancers, but stopped short of establishing a formal association because of other factors.
“This is the first time that anyone has found strong evidence of an association of PFAS exposure and cardiovascular mortality,” said Annibale Biggeri, the peer-reviewed study’s lead author, and a researcher with the University of Padua.
PFAS are a class of 15,000 chemicals used across dozens of industries to make products resistant to water, stains and heat.
Though PFAS can affect the cardiovascular system in different ways, it is largely a problem because it produces stubbornly high and dangerous levels of cholesterol.
The records “showed clearly” that earlier life exposures led to higher levels of mortality, except for women who have multiple children.
Mortality levels among women who were of child-bearing age were generally lower, but increased in older women.
The chemicals will be passed down to children for generations, said Laura Facciolo, a Veneto resident who drank contaminated water.

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The widespread use of the contentious chemicals has raised new concerns as evidenced by the first formal demonstration by researchers that exposure to toxic PFAS raises the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

The results are particularly noteworthy because it can be challenging to demonstrate a link between chemical exposure and death. However, by examining death certificates from the Veneto region of northern Italy, where many citizens drank highly contaminated water for decades, researchers were able to do just that. This region is known as “forever chemicals.”.

Documents also indicated a higher risk of dying from multiple cancers, but due to other factors, a formal association could not be established.

“This is the first time that strong evidence of a link between PFAS exposure and cardiovascular death has been found,” lead author of the peer-reviewed study and University of Padua researcher Annibale Biggeri stated.

A class of 15,000 chemicals known as PFAS is utilized in dozens of industries to give products resistance to heat, stains, and water. Even though the substances are very beneficial, earlier studies have connected them to a number of grave illnesses, including cancer, kidney disease, birth abnormalities, lowered immunity, liver issues, and many others.

A PFAS production plant in Veneto contaminated the region’s drinking water extensively between 1985 and 2018. Initially, researchers discovered that there were more than 4,000 deaths in total during this time, or almost three per month.

Researchers were able to compare records for tens of thousands of people who drank contaminated water and lived close to those who did not because part of the region received water from a different source.

PFAS is mostly a concern because it causes dangerously high and persistently high cholesterol, even though it can affect the cardiovascular system in different ways. Hormonal changes that impact the metabolism and the body’s capacity to regulate plaque in arteries are the real cause of the levels, making them challenging to control rather than dietary or lifestyle choices that can be treated with modifications.

The authors of the study hypothesize that circulatory disease may also be influenced by post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by the environmental disaster that upended lives throughout the region.

Additionally, Biggeri stated that there was “very clear” evidence of an increase in kidney cancer. A total of 65 cases were recorded in the final five years of the study, compared to 16 cases in the first five. Additionally, it discovered that during some times, there were higher than average levels of testicular cancer.

With the exception of women who have several children, the data “showed clearly” that exposures during early life were associated with higher rates of mortality. Prior studies have indicated that women who had only one child had higher levels.

During pregnancy, the chemicals build up in placentas and are transferred to fetuses, lowering levels within the body. Although mortality rates rose in older women, they were generally lower in women of childbearing age.

Laura Facciolo, a resident of Veneto who drank tainted water, claimed that the chemicals will be passed down to future generations. She stated that the results highlight the injustice of the catastrophe and the necessity of outlawing PFAS.

She remarked, “I found myself in a big, huge trial where no one gave any consent, just like mice.”. “I am at a loss for words. “.

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