Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Teflon - Things we can do without

Guess what, Teflon, the nonstick coating on some frying pans, can come off and you can ingest it. Or, if the pan is overheated, which is not uncommon, the coating breaks down releasing toxic fumes. The end result is that over 95% of Americans has the chemical in their bodies. And according to the Environmental Protection Agency it is a likely carcinogen.
In addition, the factories that produce the nonstick products pollute lakes, rivers, wildlife and groundwater with perfluorooctanoic acid, a chemical by-product. In 2005 DuPont, the company that makes Teflon, was fined over $16 million for hiding test results that showed perfluorooctanoic acid was contaminating drinking water near a DuPont facility in West Virginia and that the chemical crosses the placenta from mother to child.
PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate), like Teflon and Goretex is also a perfluorinated chemical. It is used as a stain repellent on clothing, upholstered furniture and other fabric products including carpets. It is also used in food packaging, particularly for fast food and microwave popcorn bags.
Studies have shown that perfluorinated chemicals are extremely persistent, that they can cause cancer, immune problems, impaired prenatal growth, infertility and disrupt hormones.
The bottom line is that we don't need nonstick cookware or stain repellent furniture or carpets. I've used stainless steel sauce pans for many years and they work just fine. But I do have to wash them. Small price to pay if you ask me.

sources: Scientific American magazine,

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