Microwave popcorn and efficacy of immunizations

Katherine - posted on 01/27/2012 ( 38 moms have responded )

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A group of compounds used in a variety of products, including water-resistant clothing and microwave popcorn, may prevent childhood vaccinations from working properly, a new study says.



In the study, children who had higher concentrations of these compounds, called perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), in their blood had lower immune responses to diphtheria and tetanus vaccinations. An insufficient immune response to a vaccination can mean a child is actually vulnerable to catching a disease even though they've been vaccinated against it.



Indeed, the levels of antibodies in the blood of some children exposed to PFCs indicated they were not protected against these diseases by age 7.



"When we take our kids to the doctor's office to get their shots, we expect that the vaccines are going to work," said study researcher Dr. Philippe Grandjean, of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. "What we found was that there was an increasing risk that they didn’t work if the kids had been exposed to the PFCs," Grandjean said.



The study is provocative, but the findings are not of immediate public health concern, said Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of the department of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Despite the link found in this study, vaccines have largely protected the public against diphtheria and tetanus over the same period of time that PFCs have accumulated in the environment, Schaffner said.



"These are illnesses that have been virtually eliminated from children," in the United States, Schaffner said.



However, Schaffner said investigations into the link between vaccines' effectiveness and PFCs, along with other potential environmental hazards, should continue.



The study will be published tomorrow (Jan. 25) in the Journal of the American Medical Association.



PFCs have thousands of uses in manufacturing, and most people have the compounds in their bodies, Grandjean said. They are slow to break down and persist for many years in the environment.



Studies in animals have suggested PFCs may lower the body's immune response, but their impact on people's health is unclear.



Grandjean and colleagues analyzed data from 587 children living in the Faroe Islands, in the northern Atlantic Ocean between Scotland and Iceland. These islands were chosen because their inhabitants frequently consume seafood, which is associated with increased exposure to PFCs. Still, overall,levels of PFCs in this area are similar to those found in other countries, including the United States, Grandjean said.



The researchers measured levels of PFCs in the blood of 5-year-old children, and tested the children's immune response to tetanus and diphtheria vaccinations at ages 5 and 7. The kids received complete vaccinations against these diseases, including a booster shot at age 5.



The higher the levels of PFCs were in the blood, the lower the children's response was to the vaccines.



A doubling of the exposure to PFCs was associated with a 49 percent lower level of blood antibodies in children at age 7, Grandjean said.



Children with some of the highest levels of PFCs were two to four times more likely to have antibodies in their blood at a level below what is thought to protect against these diseases.



The study "emphasizes the importance of making sure that the world does not pollute the natural environment," Schaffner said. "Clearly, greater efforts must be made to keep these perfluorinated compounds out of the environment," hesaid.



It's not clear exactly how people come to accumulate levels of PFCs in their body, so advice on how to avoid them may not necessarily work. But Grandjean said, "It would be prudent to avoid microwave popcorn [and] treatment of furniture, carpets, shoes and clothing with stain repellants," unless they are known not to contain PFCs.



Future studies into the health impact of PFCs should examine their effect on the immune system, Grandjean said. The researchers would also like to know if exposure to PFCs is associated with a reduced immune response to other vaccinations.



http://vitals.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/0...







*sigh*

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Jodi - posted on 01/28/2012

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Sherri, your older ones are teens - they should be helping you more around the house. The popcorn issue aside.

[deleted account]

Its not really extra dishes. Its one pot. Thats extra dish.

It takes the same amount of time to nuke it. Plus it tastes better than microwaved. I do sacrifice the one dish for taste.

I also cook home meals every day(all 3 of them plus snacks) and do my own breads, pastas etc. It really doesn't make a difference to add one pot to that mess I already have to do every day anyways.

[deleted account]

No need for a fancy popcorn maker! Just use a pot on the stove. Add kernels and a bit of oil, and voila fresh popped corn.

Firebird - posted on 01/27/2012

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It does not matter what we do, we are fucking our kids up. It's the same crap that our parents heard when we were all kids. You let them play out side, they're breathing in polluted air. Fucking them up. You keep them locked in the house, they'll end up with agoraphobia or something. Fucking them up. You vaccinate your kids, they get sick, you're fucking them up. You don't vaccinate them, they get sick, you're fucking them up.



Either way, we're all screwed. Might as well have fun in the process, right? So the way I see it, you gotta pick your battles. What are the odds of my daughter getting polio? Slim to none. So popcorn on!

Jennifer - posted on 01/30/2012

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Hmmm, so a parent who THINKS their child is protected is not a health risk...........but a parent who doesn't vaccinate and knows their child is at risk is a health hazard?!?

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[deleted account]

Scary, huh? I literally tossed out all my non-stick pans after I learned a little more about it. Teflon pans are also associated with cancer because little bits flake off into what you cook. The ceramic (enamel-coated) are OK too. Like Le Crueset (really pricy, but there are a ton of less expensive ones). Just get rid of that Teflon!

Elfrieda - posted on 01/29/2012

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@Rebecca



Nonono! You're not making it any easier on me! :P



Okay, but growing up for a moment: what about those ceramic frying pans? Are they better? They still have some sort of coating, but it's not Teflon.

Caitlin - posted on 01/29/2012

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I love my air popper.. picked it up at a thrift shop for 2$, I pay about 1.50$ for a whole bag of seeds and it lasts me about 6 months worth of snacks and such. I can add whatever flavours I want, add more or less margarine (I prefer butter but DD1 is allergic) and more or less salt to taste.. Mine usually has a ton less salt than the bagged crap, and it tastes WAY better.. No.. I never trusted the gross list of unpronouncables on the microwave popcorn bag.. In my mind, if I can't pronounce it, I shouldn't be eating it.

Sherri - posted on 01/29/2012

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Jodi my kids aren't here from 7:15am - 3pm for my oldest and 7:55-4pm for my middle one 5 days a week. Then they have 4-5hrs of homework a night. They don't have time during the week to do anything but school. Plus we eat dinner by 5pm so I usually have dinner already cooking by the time they get home.



They have there set chores they do and during the week which is really just trash due to their schedules. Then on the weekends I expect them to help a lot more.

[deleted account]

Elfrieda:



Did you know that if you heat a Teflon pan to 400 degrees in a room with a bird the bird will drop dead? Not kidding. Well established fact. I think your SIL is right on the non-stick cookware -- pitch it and buy stainless or cast iron.

Jenny - posted on 01/29/2012

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I live as simply as possible. We haven't owned a microwave in years. The idea of that gross butter in the nuked popcorn skeeves me out. I have an air popper and melt some real butter in a small pot. It takes 5 minutes for my 9 year old and she washes the pot after. Microwave food is gross.

Stifler's - posted on 01/29/2012

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It takes like 5 minutes to make it with a pot and it's way way way cheaper and tastes better

Elfrieda - posted on 01/28/2012

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We already knew that microwave popcorn is bad for you, right? Wasn't there a higher rate of lung cancer in those factory workers who put the popcorn bags together?



I'm just glad my mom was so freaked out by microwaves when I was growing up. I never used one when I was living at home, and we don't have one in the house now, either. (there's one in my husband's shop in the garage just in case of emergencies. (;)

Rosie - posted on 01/28/2012

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lol, this made me go make some popcorn. i understand how tired you are when pregnant, i didn't even mak my own food half the time with my last pregnancy. my husband was an invalid, and i was the only one working. needless to say hardees supplied most of my "food" at that time. i cringe to think of it now.

anyhoo, it really is easy, not time consuming, AND cheaper. it's a big win all around. try it, you'l like it. :0

Sherri - posted on 01/28/2012

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I know Rosie it also takes time and being 8 1/2mo's pregnant right now it isn't something I am willing to take on right now. Right now taking care of three kids, a house and being pregnant I am doing as little as humanly possible that I can. Not to mention I don't have a problem letting them have microwave popcorn. It is a snack I don't mind them having and they can make themselves that makes it a win, win in my book.

Rosie - posted on 01/28/2012

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all you do is put it in a pan with oil and a lid, lol. seriously that's it. if you want something that doesn't make dishes get an air popper or something. ever since i started making my own popcorn i've realized what i've been missing! :)

Sherri - posted on 01/28/2012

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I do not have time to make fresh popcorn every single night. We have a professional old time popcorn maker but it is just as much work as doing it on the stove. I make homemade dinner every night I don't have time to do fresh popcorn every night too. Not to mention the extra dishes (we don't have a dishwasher) gah no thanks I will chance the microwave crap on this one.

Rosie - posted on 01/28/2012

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i just try to avoid things that i know hurt me, although i can't obviously go all out. i don't buy microwave popcorn, i think it tastes better to pop your own kernels, plus it's tons cheaper.



if i find out something new that can potentially harm us, i try to avoid it for the future, but don't sweat over past use of it. i'm only human. ;)

Pam - posted on 01/28/2012

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heh heh heh ~ we're making progress here! anyhoo, nothings better than freshly popped popcorn

[deleted account]

Emma i didnt see your comment! Thats how I make popcorn. Its only like 3$ for the bag and you can make probably close to 50 bowls.

Pam - posted on 01/28/2012

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or just go to zellers and get a popcorn maker, stylish and affordable, and great for those movies nights!

Tracey - posted on 01/28/2012

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Oh dear, I give my kids popcorn regularly as it is healthier than other snacks.

Does anyone know if it affects other meds efficiency such as the pill? Have a couple of friends who got pregnant while taking this so wonder if too much popcorn is the culprit?

Pam - posted on 01/28/2012

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oh wait, that includes rain jackets and snow suites... but underneath they can wear cotton and maybe decrease any risk... but think about it, we wore raincoats, snow suites, poly, etc etc.. and we are fine

Pam - posted on 01/28/2012

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good thing I have a popcorn machine and only use 100% cotton at the request of their Dr....but yes, oh no not another worry!

Stifler's - posted on 01/28/2012

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We're all going to die one day. I make popcorn with a bag of kernels and olive oil in my stainless steel saucepans though. Juz sayen.

Sherri - posted on 01/27/2012

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Yup my kids too Katherine. They wear raincoats when it is raining and weather resist winter coats, snow pants too. They have to wait for the bus etc. in the rain I am not having them soaked. My oldest also is an avid skiier and I am not having him soaked and freezing in subzero temps.

Katherine - posted on 01/27/2012

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I eat it once in a while and so do my kids. They also wear waterproof jackets.......So what am I supposed to do? Let them get soaked?

Sherri - posted on 01/27/2012

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Well that is a problem my 13yr old literally eats a bag of microwave popcorn every single day. However, I have no intention of limiting his popcorn intake or not vaccinating him. So oh well.

Elfrieda - posted on 01/27/2012

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I think it might not just be about vax's, but more about us poisoning ourselves without even knowing it. Like that non-stick cookware. My sister-in-law keeps trying to tell me how bad it is, and I'm all LA-LA-LA and I don't want to hear it because that's just ANOTHER thing to avoid. I think I'll cave eventually, though. Ignorance is not always bliss. :(

Katherine - posted on 01/27/2012

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Does this make you nervous, or just say Oh God not again? It makes me say, not something else and Oh God not another thing involving vax's.

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