(NaturalNews) Sometimes the technological innovations that appear to make our lives a lot easier are the same ones that are now destroying our health. A new study out of West Virginia University's (WVU) School of Medicine has found that people with the highest blood levels of perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), a chemical used in non-stick and stain-resistant coatings, are 40 percent more likely to develop arthritis than people with the lowest blood levels.
For their study, Dr. Kim Innes and her team from WVU evaluated data on roughly 50,000 people living in areas of Ohio and West Virginia where a chemical plant had leaked PFOA and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), another similar cookware chemical, into drinking water supplies. Both chemicals are "persistent organic pollutants," which means they persist in the environment and in the human body for a very long time before breaking down and passing.
After factoring in age, weight, socioeconomic status, gender, military service, and other factors, the team concluded that those with the highest levels of PFOA in their blood were 40 percent more likely to develop arthritis than those with the lowest levels. This connection was not, however, observed with high and low levels of PFOS in the blood.
Exposure to PFOA is also linked to a variety of other diseases, including thyroid disorders, high cholesterol, delayed pregnancy, and infertility (http://www.naturalnews.com/PFOA.html). And besides simply causing problems when leaked into the environment, the chemical is highly volatile -- in other words, the hotter it gets on items like cookware, the more it tends to leech into fumes, and also into food that touches it.