Researchers Link White Rice, Coffee, and Eggs To Increased Levels of PFAs in Humans

( — A new study has found that pregnant women whose diet consists largely of white rice, eggs, seafood, and coffee tend to have higher levels of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in their plasma and breast milk.

In a study published in “Science of the Total Environment,” researchers tested samples from 3,000 pregnant women to determine how diet may affect the levels of PFAS compounds in the human body.

Dartmouth researcher Megan Romano, the lead author of the study, said the research suggested that PFAS are everywhere and would continue to remain prevalent unless “aggressive remediation” was implemented.

PFAS are found in soil, water, and air, and are called “forever chemicals” because they take thousands of years to break down and can build up in humans, according to the EPA.

The chemicals have been linked to heart and liver disease as well as some forms of cancer.

The researchers said PFAS contaminates food through both the soil and water. It is further contaminated by the water used in cooking rice or brewing coffee, and even in the types of cookware used since PFAS are found in non-stick cookware. Additionally, PFAS chemicals have been found in food packaging, including paper cups and coffee filters.

Because PFAS are prevalent in water, seafood is commonly contaminated by the “forever chemicals.”

Public health experts argue that the only way to address the problem is to impose a ban on the chemicals except for uses deemed essential.

According to Megan Romano, people should move to a diet that is high in whole grains, fruits, and dietary fiber, all of which have lower levels of some PFAS. She also suggested that people vary the sources of protein used in their diets to avoid consuming too much of one protein source.

In April, the Environmental Protection Agency introduced the first-ever national standards limiting the amount of PFAS found in drinking water.

According to the EPA, the new limits would reduce PFAS exposure for 100 million people and prevent the risk of illness and death in thousands.

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