Healthcare News & Insights

Can microwave popcorn reduce vaccines’ effectiveness?

New questions are being raised about whether chemicals found in microwave popcorn interfere with the effectiveness of certain vaccinations.

A new study seems to indicate that perfluorinated compounds (PFCs)  keep childrens’ immune systems from getting the full benefit of their vaccines. The chemicals are used to coat the popcorn bags, and are also part of many other products such as non-stick cookware and stain repellants.

Previous studies have demonstrated that PFCs don’t break down easily and can build up to toxic levels in mammals’ blood.

The most recent study, conducted by a research team at Harvard, found that mothers with higher amounts of PFC in their blood had children with less protection from diphtheria at age five. (Specifically, a doubling of PFC levels in the mother’s blood correlated to a 39% reduction in diphtheria antibodies in their children.)

Among the children themselves, those with double the PFC levels were found to be two to four times more likely to have an immune response that was too low to effectively fight off the disease.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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