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Common Industrial Chemicals May Not Boost Cancer Risk
Date:4/8/2009

Use of PFOA, PFOS as additives is already being phased out, experts note,,,,

WEDNESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Typical exposures to chemicals that are found in a wide range of products, and have been linked to cancer in animals, may not boost risks for a range of malignancies in humans, a new report finds.

The two chemicals, perfluorooctanoate and perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOA, PFOS) have for decades been ubiquitous in food packaging, pesticides, clothing, upholstery, carpets and personal care products. Earlier studies have found these chemicals in the blood of both people exposed to the chemicals at work and in the general public. High concentrations of the chemicals are associated with cancer in animals, but whether they are linked to cancer in humans is unclear.

One recent study, published in January in Human Reproduction, suggested that PFOA/PFOS might also impair women's ability to become pregnant.

However, the new study, published in the April 7 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, finds that the chemicals may not be associated with an increased risk for prostate, bladder, pancreatic, or liver cancer.

"This is the first study of PFOA/PFOS and cancer risk in a general population, and the results should, therefore, be treated with caution," said lead researcher Ole Raaschou-Nielsen, a senior researcher at the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology at the Danish Cancer Society in Copenhagen. "This is the beginning of the story rather than the end, since several more studies should be conducted before we can make final conclusions," he said.

"We would not recommend any action or changes in behavior based on the results of this single study," he added. "Future studies should confirm or reject the results of our study before practical implications should be considered."

For the study, the researchers collected data on a large group of Danes who
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