Exposure to a synthetic chemical used in a wide range of consumer and industrial products is linked to non-viral hepatocellular carcinoma — the most common type of liver cancer — according to a recent study conducted by researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of USC.  The report was published in JHEP Reports.

The chemical, called perfluooctane sulfate (PFOS), is one of a class of man-made chemicals called polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). They are sometimes called “forever chemicals” because they break down very slowly and accumulate in the environment and in human tissue, including the liver.

Prior research in animals has suggested that PFAS exposure increases the risk of liver cancer, but this is the first study to confirm an association using human samples.

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