A study links thyroid disease to human exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). PFOA is a persistent organic chemical used in industrial and consumer goods, including most nonstick cookware and stain and water resistant coatings for rugs and fabrics.
The study included nearly 4,000 adults aged 20 and older whose blood serum was sampled between 1999 and 2006 for PFOA.
Researchers found that people with the highest levels of PFOA were twice as likely to report current thyroid disease.
Previous animal studies conducted by other scientists have shown that the compounds can affect the function of the thyroid hormone system in mammals. This system is essential for maintaining heart rate, regulating body temperature, and supporting many other bodily functions, including metabolism, reproduction, digestion, and mental health.