Researchers at University of Bergen, Norway, and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health have analyzed per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also called «forever chemicals», in blood samples from over 1000 children in Bergen. In total, 22% of the children had PFAS levels above safety limits.
PFAS are a group of synthetic chemicals found in everyday consumer products, including clothes, cosmetics, paint and non-stick kitchenwear. Due to their high resistance to degradation, several PFAS accumulate in nature and in humans. Contaminated food and drinking water are the main sources of PFAS exposure in humans.
Several negative health effects have been associated with PFAS exposure, including reduced vaccine response in children, reduced birth weight, and certain types of cancers. Reduced vaccine response in children was the basis for the safety limit set by the European Food and Safety Authority (EFSA) in 2020. Several European countries are now working together to restrict the production and use of all PFAS in Europe.
As part of «the Bergen Growth Study 2» from 2016, researchers at the University of Bergen collected blood samples from children aged 6-16 years for PFAS analyses. Four PFAS were present in all children. In addition, 22% of the children had PFAS levels above the safety limits set by EFSA, indicating a potential risk of negative health effects. This is in line with findings in other European and Norwegian studies.