Vol. 12, No. 3, 2006 Page 7


High exposure to the fluorinated chemicals used to make nonstick cookware radically alters the behavior of mice, according to a new study.

Niclas Johansson and colleagues administered a single oral dose of either perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) or perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) to mice. Both are nonstick chemicals that have been detected in human infants at birth.

The mice were exposed to high or low doses of either chemical at the age of 10 days, which corresponds to the post- birth brain growth spurt in humans. At two and four months of age, each mouse was placed in a new cage, and the researchers evaluated its ability to adapt to its surroundings. Untreated and low-dose mice reacted anxiously at first but soon settled down, while mice exposed to high doses of the chemicals remained agitated—evidence that they could not process new stimuli correctly.

The high-exposure mice also reacted abnormally to injected nicotine, which made other mice more active but put heavily- exposed mice to sleep. The researchers say this indicates that nonstick chemicals affect the brain's acetylcholinergic system, which responds to nicotine.


"Nonstick chemicals upset behavior," Janet Raloff, Science News, Vol. 169, March 25, 2006, p. 190.

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