New health risk may be caused by PBB exposure

It has long been known that exposure to poly-brominated bipenyls, or PBB, can result in health issues.

Now another concern has been added to the growing list. Those exposed to PBB may be as risk of it effecting their immune system.

A recently published study in the scientific journal Epigenetics by GMB faculty member Dr. Alicia Smith, show that sites in the genome were associated with PBB levels found in blood drawn from people exposed to PBB.

A genome is the complete assembly of DNA, comprised of about 3 billion base pairs that makes each individual unique. The report suggests that exposure can affect the epigenome, which is multiple chemical compounds that can basically "tell a genome what to do." Those compounds and proteins that make up the epigenome attach to DNA directing genes to switch on or off. The study revealed that more than 1,800 sites in the epigenome were associated with the current PBB levels in the blood, meaning that PBB exposure could have an impact on those sites.

Click here to view the full story in Morning Sun (Michigan).