Formula-fed infants at highest risk for GenX health effects

Formula fed infants at highest risk for GenX health effects
Published: Jul. 15, 2017 at 10:42 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 17, 2017 at 7:58 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The risk assessment report released by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services warned that formula-fed infants face the highest risk for negative health effects from drinking GenX.

Tests results released from The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority revealed lower concentrations of GenX in drinking water.

However, parents of young children may still want to use purified water for their children if possible, said Dr. David Hill of Kidzcare Pediatrics in Wilmington.

"Infants are most vulnerable because compared to their body weight, they drink the most water, especially those who are formula fed," Hill said.

The new data states that when consumed over a lifetime, GenX at concentrations of 140 parts per trillion or lower will not have adverse health effects.

Most tests are now showing concentrations lower than 140 ppt in the Cape Fear.

In the 2012-2013 Dr. Knappe study conducted on the Cape Fear River, the concentration of GenX in the water was 631 parts per trillion, more than four times what experts are now saying is safe.

This has caused concern for children who were bottle fed during that time, however Hill says knowing if this had any impact on children's health will not be discovered right away.

"It remains very hard to know. Cancers may take a lifetime to develop so it may be decades before we really know what the effects are," he said.

His advice to concerned parents was to use purified water if possible, and to remain calm.

"You know, I would encourage people not to panic. Of all the health risks we face, this one is probably not number one," said Hill.

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