Forever Chemicals Make COVID Worse?
All most of us can think about these days is how to keep loved ones and ourselves safe from COVID-19?
We don’t want to catch it, we don’t want to be an asymptomatic carrier, and we don’t want to be part of the statistical population struggling with the worse symptoms, hospitalizations, and possibly death.
We also do not want to find out we are long-haulers with ongoing inflammation throughout our bodies that medical pros do not yet fully understand.
But the reality is, one or more of those things we are trying to avoid has happened to 28.2 million Americans to date… and counting.
And more than 500-thousand Americans, so far, have lost their lives.
So what makes you one of the lucky ones?
I am sure someone in the last year has told you to take vitamins?
Take extra Zinc, vitamins C & D, meditate, exercise, and get more sleep…the list goes on!
But a new Harvard Study may have a life changing revelation.
The quality of our water and the contaminants we drink are directly shown to worsen the severity of symptoms and potentially affect how sick we get with COVID-19.
Enter today’s villain… Mr. PFAS.
He and his more than 5-thousand extended Family of Forever Chemicals, including the famous ones, PFOS, PFOA and PFAB, are like those unwanted family members who overstay their welcome on the holidays, and never leave.
If you want to learn more about them, read our previous blog here, as we have had our eye on these annoying relatives for quite some time.
But in short-form they are a man-made group of chemicals used in manufacturing.
Common uses are for waterproof clothing and material, Teflon and other nonstick products, as well as firefighting foam.
So we just mentioned they like to stick around.
These forever chemicals bio-accumulate in the environment, building up in our water supply, in our food chain, and eventually in our bodies.
EPA Studies found associations between PFAS exposure and high cholesterol, increased liver enzymes, decreased vaccination response, thyroid disorders, pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia, and cancer (testicular and kidney).
Living things may be consuming or absorbing Mr. PFAS and his family members faster than they can get rid of them, resulting in a buildup in their bodies, also known as Bioaccumulation.
This occurs when an organism absorbs a substance at a
rate faster than at which the substance is lost by processes such as excretion.
So…now that we’ve reminded ourselves about these chemicals, how do they relate to COVID?
A recent Harvard study led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has shown “that people who had elevated blood levels of a toxic chemical called Perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA) had an increased risk of a more severe course of COVID-19 than those who did not have elevated levels.”
More than 320-Danish COVID patients were studied.
Those with higher levels of PFAB (Perfluorobutanoic acid) in their body had a higher chance of being hospitalized, admitted to the ICU, and even dying, than those with lower levels.
Scientists believe that the stick-around nature of these chemicals, specifically PFBA, make COVID a nightmare!
The study states, “…in general PFAS’s have water and grease-resistant properties…. [but] PFBA, more than other PFASs, is known to accumulate in the lungs.”
The study showed higher levels of PFBA in the blood plasma of COVID-19 patients made them twice as likely to suffer a more severe case of COVID-19 and exhibit other concerns such as long term illness and even death.
This also calls into question the effectiveness of vaccines.
Past research by the same lead scientist as in the PFBA study shows PFAS chemicals built up in the body can decrease the effectiveness of vaccinations such as Tetanus and Diphtheria by at least 20% in children and babies.
PFAS’s are not just accumulated through consumption of food and water, but can also be transferred through the placenta
and breast milk.
These findings call into question the success and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine; if these chemicals work against our body in fighting the virus, they may also cause problems in building, and then maintaining our antibody levels to stay protected.
So what do we do?
Drink bottled water?
Nope, I won’t do that either.
In a consumer report study of 47-bottled water varieties (including a mix of non-carbonated and carbonated varieties) researchers “found levels of “toxic PFAS chemicals” in several popular brands that were above a limit recommended by some experts”.
The study also tested for heavy metals. One bottled water brand showed arsenic levels more than three times that of recommended health guidelines of 3 parts per billion. As I learn this fact I can’t help but ask myself, “should there be ANY level of arsenic in drinking water??!!”
The best option is at home water filtration and purification so you can bathe, cook, drink, and sleep well knowing your family is protected on an extra level by not taking on more PFAS’ and other chemicals in your water supply.
But don’t get too comfortable.
It can take 2-4 years, and sometimes longer, for levels of Forever Chemicals in your body to decrease just by half due to bio-accumulation.
But do not fear, there are two very simple things you can do to start moving in the right direction.
Make a start by reducing your exposure to new PFAS’s in food, drinking water, water for bathing and teeth brushing, and other consumer products such as nonstick pans that may expose you and your family.
If your non-stick pan is scratched, get rid of it now!