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New Report Shows DuPont Concealed the Dangers of Teflon

By Fredrica Syren:

I remember when Teflon became a household name. Teflon frying pans were perfect to cook in since — as with any non-stick pots, pans and bakeware — nothing stuck to them. You could use very little or no oil, making cooking super easy and the pans extremely convenient to use and, of course, to clean. I mean, who wants to spend hours scrubbing off food cooked on to pots and pans? Teflon’s use has been widespread since the 1940s, but suddenly we’re getting worried about it all. Why?

Decades later, the truth about Teflon and its manufacturer, DuPont, is being revealed through many Teflon-frying-pans mainlawsuits filed against the company. Today there are actually 3,533 cases against DuPont. So far, reports and lawsuits show that Teflon contains harmful chemicals that have been demonstrated to cause kidney, testicular and thyroid cancers, as well as high cholesterol; and that DuPont either knew or suspected it to be so but never revealed its findings to the public. How is Teflon dangerous for day-to-day use? First, Teflon coating has been shown to, within two to five minutes of normal stovetop use, break down to a point at which it releases toxic chemicals into the environment – typically your kitchen. The other concern is that particles of PTFE can flake off, but it is thought that this does not cause harm when ingested, as the chemical is inert when solid.

Furthermore, the DuPont manufacturing plant in the Parkersburg, West Virginia, knowingly for decades has released the chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) into land and water, which has caused damage to both animals and humans in the process. PFOA, also known as C8 and perfluorooctanoate, is used to keep coatings like Teflon from clumping during production. PFOA has been detected in the blood of more than 98% of the general U.S. population.

DuPontPFOA is known to cause cancerous testicular, pancreatic and liver tumors in lab animals. One laboratory study even suggested possible DNA damage from PFOA exposure, and another study of workers linked exposure with prostate cancer. During this time, DuPont knew these risks and findings, yet did everything in its power to cover it up. In fact, DuPont had been conducting secret medical studies on PFOA for more than four decades. In 1961, DuPont researchers found that PFOA caused cancer in lab rats but never disclosed this. The really scary part is that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A) was alerted in 2001 about this but essentially has done nothing. In the meantime, more and more people have been exposed and more chemicals have been released into the environment. I’m horrified to learn that it took this long for them to be exposed and feel like DuPont as well as the E.P.A needs to be held responsible for withholding the truth for so long and in the process killing the environment and people.

So what are the safe options for cooking? I think it’s safe to say that the best option is to avoid non-stick cookware altogether. Safer choices are cast iron and stainless steel pots and pans. Oven safe glass is the preferred choice for baking.

About Green Mom

Fredrica Syren, the author and founder of Green-Mom.com, was born in Sweden. Her mother was a classically trained chef who introduced her to many eclectic flavors and skills at a young age. Her mom’s passion for the outdoors and gardening planted the seed for her own love of nature and healthy eating. She received a degree in journalism and has worked as a print, Internet and broadcasting journalist for many years with big businesses within Europe and the United States. After her mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she with pre-cancer, Fredrica changed her career to become a full time yoga teacher and activist. A longtime world traveler, foodie and career woman, she was exposed to many facets of life, but nothing inspired her more than becoming a mom. After her first-born, Fredrica began a food blog focusing on local, seasonal, organic & vegetarian dishes. Years of food blogging developed into the cookbook Yummy in My Tummy, Healthy Cooking for the Whole Family. Upon the arrival of her second child, Fredrica founded Green-Mom.com. Her vision was to establish a site providing insight about gardening, home and personal care, baby & child, and of course food & nutrition. Green-Mom.com hosts many talented writers shedding light on ways to incorporate eco-friendly and nutritious practices for busy families. She is an advocate for organic, local and sustainable businesses. Fredrica hopes to inspire social change through her lifestyle, passion and business. Fredrica lives with her husband James Harker-Syren and their three children in San Diego, CA.

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