Exposure to a Chemical Found in Household Items Can Cause Thyroid Disease

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is a chemical used in the preparation of household items like cookware, carpets and fabrics. There were speculations in the past that this chemical can increase the risk of thyroid related diseases. A research study carried out recently (dated 21st January 2010) at the the University of Exeter and the Peninsula Medical School, has confirmed this doubt.

Knowledge Gained from Research:

  • The data used in the survey was collected from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s nationally representative National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
  • It was learnt from the study that people with higher concentration of the chemical PFOA in their blood would have high rates of thyroid disease.
  • Unfortunately, in the present world, there are several sources of exposure to this chemical to the people all over the world.
  • The main source of exposure to this chemical is not known yet, but it is believed that this chemical can mostly enter into our body via diet. Goods like some clothes, footwear, carpets and furniture are also considered as other sources of this chemical’s exposure.
  • This chemical has the ability to repel heat, grease, water, and stains. It is for this reason that the chemical finds wide applicability in today’s industrial world.

What is Thyroid Disease: Millions of people, mostly women, in the United States suffer from this disease. It is a hormone producing system at the back of our throat. Hormones are naturally present chemical substances found in our body. They assist other organs to function properly. The hormone produced by this organ converts the food we eat into the energy for the body.

In people suffering from this disease, the stored energy of the body is either used up quickly or very slowly. Common type of thyroid disease involves inactive thyroid gland as it is generally called. This causes sensitivity to cold, fatigue and weight gain in the patient. In a rare case of over active of this gland, leads to excess production of thyroid hormone. This causes weight loss, sensitivity to heat and rise in heart beat in the patient. There is no cure for this disease and the cause of this disease is also not understood completely yet.

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