PFOA is an environmentally persistent synthetic chemical most commonly associated with non-stick coatings on kitchenware and textiles as well as microwave popcorn bags.
The results of research published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Medical Association indicates that ingestion of PFOA may inhibit the effectiveness of vaccines against tetanus and diphtheria. The researchers found that the presence of perfluorinated compounds in the bloodstream was negatively associated with decreased antibody levels, in some cases with the antibody level being so low as to be ineffective in prevention of disease. The authors suggest that tetanus and diphtheria are likely to be markers for the behaviour of other antibodies and that the perfluorinated compounds may be reducing or negating the effectiveness of many childhood vaccinations.
Further research on the health effects of perfluorinated compounds is underway and results can be expected in the coming months. An abstract of the current paper (free) and links to the full paper (buy) can be found at http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/307/4/391.abstract?sid=73df54d6-e5f8-4e5c-9c45-ee37ebdec59d