Scientists Find 42 Mysterious Chemicals in Humans

Scientists Find 42 Mysterious Chemicals in Humans

Scientists from the University of California San Francisco were in charge of outstanding research. While they were analyzing pregnant women, they found 55 chemicals that were never reported before. Perhaps the even more amazing part is that there were also 42 chemicals detected that represent a true mystery: no-one knows either their sources or their uses. brings the intriguing news, and the chemicals were found both in the pregnant women’s blood and in their newborn children.

Consumer products or other industrial sources?

The most plausible scenario, according to the scientists, is that the chemicals come from consumer products or various industrial sources.

Tracey J. Woodruff, PhD, and a professor of obstetrics, reproductive sciences, and gynaecology at UCSF, declared:

These chemicals have probably been in people for quite some time, but our technology is now helping us to identify more of them.

She added:

It is alarming that we keep seeing certain chemicals travel from pregnant women to their children, which means these chemicals can be with us for generations.

From a total of 109 chemicals that researchers have found in the blood samples of pregnant women and their babies, many of the substances are found in various products. Forty of the chemicals can be found in plasticizers, 23 in pesticides, 25 in consumer products, 29 in pharmaceuticals, seven in PFAS compounds, 28 in cosmetics, three in flame retardants, and some are used in carpeting, upholstery and other applications.

The scientific team had been using high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) to identify some of the chemicals in people. The chemicals can be identified through chemical libraries, but they still need confirmation by comparison with pure chemicals that are produced by certain manufacturers.

Dimitri Panagopoulos Abrahamsson, co-lead author, PhD, and a postdoctoral fellow with UCSF’s PRHE, declared:

These new technologies are promising in enabling us to identify more chemicals in people, but our study findings also make clear that chemical manufacturers need to provide analytical standards so that we can confirm the presence of chemicals and evaluate their toxicity.

The study was published in Environmental Science & Technology


Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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