A new study has found a worrying link between a common chemical and liver cancer, according to researchers from the University of Southern California and the Icahn School of Medicine in the US.
The study was published in the Journal of Liver Diseases.JHEP ReportsIt has shown that PFOA is present in an alarmingly high level worldwide.
The study confirmed an association between the substance and the development of a particularly fatal form of liver cancer.
The substance is linked to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which accounts for four out of five cases of liver cancer in the world.
The chemical in drinking water may be contaminated.
Despite bans on the substance in recent years, and the replacement of its use in anything from cosmetics to firefighting foam, the danger remains due to its presence in waterways for decades.
The researchers analyzed blood taken from 50 individuals for a diagnosis of non-viral HCC, and this was compared with an identical sample of blood taken from 50 volunteers without a diagnosis.
By measuring the level of the substance in blood samples taken before liver cancer developed, the researchers determined a strong association between it and the hepatitis virus.
The researchers found that blood samples containing perfluorooctane sulfonic acid were 4.5 times more likely to develop the disease.
“The findings fill an important gap in our understanding of the true consequences of exposure to these chemicals,” said Lida Chatze, the study’s lead author.