Asian American Medical Hazard: PFAS “Forever Chemical” Levels

Structure of perfluoroundecanoic acid, a member of PFAS group

A recent paper concludes that Asian Americans have higher levels of PFAS relative to other groups in the US populationPFAS, short for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are known as “forever chemicals” because they break down very slowly in the natural environment. Research suggests that high levels of PFAS may lead to a number of health effects ranging from increased cholesterol levels to increased risk of kidney or testicular cancer.

A summary of the report with an interview with one of the authors of the study concludes that the cause of this higher exposure is not known.  One theory is that Asian Americans eat more fish than the general population, as fish are a known source of PFAS exposure.  No major excesses were measured in Black populations compared to the white population, and the Mexican American populations had lower exposure compared to whites.

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About Jeff

Jeff lives in Silicon Valley, and attempts to juggle marriage, fatherhood, computer systems research, running, and writing.
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