Study Links Certain Environmental Toxins With Diabetes

We have written in the past about the potential link between certain chemicals, such as bisphenol-A, phthalates, and air pollutants, among others, and diabetes. Now, new research suggests that still another category of chemicals may be linked to the development of the condition.

Perflourinated compounds (PFCs) make materials resistant to stains and sticking and are found in substances such as nonstick cookware, ski wax, pizza delivery boxes, microwave popcorn bags, dental floss, paints, and more. In addition to their presence in these products, PFCs have also been released into the environment by manufacturing processes and can be found in food and water supplies.


To determine whether these chemicals are connected with diabetes, researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden looked at a group of more than 1,000 70-year-old men and women, 114 of whom had diabetes. Seven different types of PFCs were measured in their blood.

Each of the PFCs was detectable in nearly all of the participants. High levels of the compounds, and of one in particular — perfluorononanoic acic (PFNA) — were linked to diabetes. Another of the compounds, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) was also associated with diabetes, and was additionally linked with disrupted secretion of insulin from the pancreas.

Although the findings are not conclusive, the study authors note that they suggest a possible link between exposure to PFCs and the development of diabetes.

For more information, read the article “New Study Shows Link Between Perfluorinated Compounds, Diabetes” or see the study’s abstract in the journal Diabetologia. And to learn more about diabetes and toxins, click here.