Researchers are beginning to look at a group of substances called “forever chemicals” and how those chemicals may impact how some individuals respond to the new COVID-19 vaccines.
One of those scientists, Jamie DeWitt – a toxicologist at East Carolina University – has expressed concerns that exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) may suppress the immune system. This could hamper efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic across the U.S.
“The vaccine is going to be effective based on its formulation,” DeWitt said. “What PFAS affect is the body’s ability to make antibodies against the vaccine.”
The researchers addressed the issues during a press briefing by the Environmental Working Group, an environmental nonprofit that researches drinking water pollution and toxic chemicals.
Scientists have discovered that over a million people living along the Haw and Cape Fear Rivers are exposed to PFAS through their drinking water. They believe that the sludge from nearby wastewater treatment plants is adding to the contamination when it is sprayed on crops. In addition, they are looking into the impact of remaining contamination from the Chemours’ Fayetteville Works plant.
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