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EPA Rules Teflon A Potentially Risky Product

Late last year, I posted a news item detailing the dangers of using products coated with Teflon. Specifically, the toxic chemical used to produce it, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA or C-8), has been appearing in people and animals worldwide.

Wednesday, the EPA ruled low-level exposure to PFOA could pose "a potential risk of developmental and other adverse effects" on human health. The preliminary ruling is significant because it could help to determine if the Feds will regulate its use.

And the EPA has also fined DuPont some $300 million for failing to report its studies of the possible dangers linked to the processing agent. (Next month, DuPont will finalize a settlement for upwards of $300 million in a class-action lawsuit accusing the company of allowing PFOA to contaminate drinking water in Ohio and West Virginia.)

In that same report, the EPA found PFOA could boost people's levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, which might increase the likelihood of a heart attack or stroke, mirroring the findings of a study DuPont issued earlier this week.

If you want to avoid these toxic chemicals altogether, I recommend ceramic-coated metal cookware as the ceramic is virtually inert and will not transfer any metal ions to the food you cook. It is also important to use a stable oil like coconut oil (vegetable oils are easily damaged by the heat) and not overcook your food.

Washington Post January 13, 2005

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