Here are the published known facts:
What is the chemical that is a possible problem? It is called
a fluorocarbon or PFOA, perfluorooctanoic acid.
How are we exposed? Some
form of PFOA is emitted from very hot Teflon cookware. It is found
in stain repellent products, food production, in cosmetics, electrical
insulation tape, combustion engines and in chemical apparatus.
Health effects in the environment:
It lasts indefinitely in the environment and it never breaks
down, even in the human body. ( In contrast the half lives of
DDT and PBCs in the environment is decades.)
PFOA is in our water supply. DuPont failed to reveal they
had contaminated the water supply of 12,000 people in 1991. The
fluoride found in tap water can increase aluminum absorption from
cookware 800 times causing immense potential harm to the brain.
If cookware is scratched, it releases more aluminum and that contributes
Health effects on wildlife:
This chemical impairs total body growth but it especially
decreases the size of several major organs (brain, prostate, liver,
thymus) in newborns.
Indoor tiny caged birds (finches and cockatiels) can die
quickly from kitchen Teflon cooking use.
Newborn rats die in a few days from exposure to this chemical
even though it does not affect the mother rats.
Rats develop a variety of cancers, i.e. pancreas, liver,
pituatary, prostate, testis and breast. This has been recognized
Health effects in humans:
The chemical is found in the blood of 90% of the population.
It is stored in the fat of the body.
It appears to pass into the placenta and into a mother's
breast milk. DuPont research in 1981 showed traces of this chemical
were found in the unborn child of a pregnant woman.
It interrupts normal hormone function.
It typically causes a flu-like illness such as chills and
head and muscle aches.
Two of seven exposed female workers in PFOA chemical factories
have more birth-damaged infants.
A few other exposed factory individuals expired from pancreas,
prostate, and testicular cancer. These cancer relationships are
discounted by some but the consistency of cancers among workers
and in laboratory studies appears to be worthy of more consideration.
What is the EPA response:
The margin of safety exposure for children is only 7, but
it should be 100. The EPA seems to be reluctant to accept a relationship
between the evidence of health problems in animal research and
similar illnesses in humans.
· PFOA lasts indefinitely in the soil and water.
· They are now found to be present in 96% of children.
· They are now found in breast milk.
· They are now found in uterine fluid.
· They unquestionably deplete the ozone layer contributing to
So- Toss Your Teflon..