Alligators and other reptiles are often exposed to PFAS, a group of man-made chemicals that can have detrimental effects on their health. A new study has found that alligators exposed to PFAS show evidence of autoimmune disease.
Autoimmune disease is a condition in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. This can lead to a variety of problems, including inflammation, damage to organs, and even death.
While the link between PFAS exposure and autoimmune disease is still being explored, the new study provides compelling evidence that these chemicals can have serious health consequences for alligators and other reptiles. This is yet another reason why it’s so important to reduce our reliance on PFAS and other man-made chemicals.
Alligators living in waters tainted with PFAS chemicals show autoimmune effects, a new study finds.
The study, published in the journal Science, is the first to show that the class of chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) can have an impact on the immune system.
PFAS are man-made chemicals that have been used in a variety of industries for decades. They are found in products like non-stick cookware, water-repellent clothing and stain-resistant carpets.
PFAS can enter the environment when they are released into the air, water or soil. They can also build up in the food chain.
Previous studies have linked PFAS exposure to a variety of health problems, including cancer, thyroid disease and developmental delays in children.
The new study looked at alligators because they are long-lived animals that are exposed to PFAS through the food chain.
Researchers found that alligators exposed to PFAS had higher levels of autoantibodies, which are proteins that attack the body’s own tissues.
lead author of the study.
The findings suggest that PFAS exposure can trigger an autoimmune response in alligators, which could lead to a variety of health problems.
The study is the latest to raise concerns about the health effects of PFAS. Earlier this year, a study found that PFAS exposure was linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer.
PFAS are currently unregulated in the United States, but the EPA is considering setting a drinking water limit for two of the chemicals.