"Efforts to phase out a chemical used in nonstick coatings have resulted in fewer U.S. babies being born underweight in recent years, according to findings published in the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health.
Researchers at New York University based their findings on an analysis of blood samples of new mothers that were gathered between 2003 and 2014 as part of a national health study to examine levels of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Exposure to the synthetic chemical, long used in a variety of consumer products, from stain-resistant carpets to nonstick pans, pizza boxes and outdoor apparel, has been associated with a range of potential health problems, including cancer.
Researchers suggest developing fetuses are particularly at risk for birth defects and lower-than-normal birth weights. Such concerns were a driving force behind a 2006 agreement between the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. manufacturers to decrease and eventually halt the production of PFOA by 2015."