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PFAS the “Forever Chemicals”, Immunotoxicity, and COVID-19

From the Environmental Health Symposium

The startling connection between PFAS exposure and COVID-19 severity.

A study published December 2020 in the journal PLoS, indicates that a specific perfluorinate may increase risk for more severe cases of Covid-19 pneumonia.

“It’s probably what’s in the lungs that counts because that’s where the big Covid battle is fought,” said Philippe Grandjean, the principal author of the study looking at Covid-19 hospitalized patients and their PFAS levels.”

Grandjean’s study involved 323 patients with Covid-19, 215 of whom were hospitalized. The researchers analyzed the blood of these patients for the presence of five PFAS compounds known to be immunotoxic and found that only perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA), was associated with the severity of the disease. More than half of those seriously ill with Covid-19 had elevated PFBA levels in their plasma, while less than 20 percent of those with mild illness had elevated levels of the chemical.