Finally U.S. Government Acknowledges How Dangerous Teflon Is

I told you about an independent advisory panel to the EPA who ruled perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), the chemical used to make the non-stick coating Teflon, and other non-stick and stain-resistant chemicals are "likely" carcinogens. The EPA's Science Advisory Board unanimously approved that recommendation earlier this week, despite concerns about two reports.

One was an unpublished study conducted during the 80s linking PFOA to mammary tumors in lab rats that was included because it was peer-reviewed by the EPA. The other was a favorable review of PFOA sponsored by DuPont and Dow Chemical that challenged the aforementioned study that wasn't in the mix.

The only major criticism of the advisory panel's decision came from not-so-unexpected source: A toxicologist with Dow Chemical who felt more evidence was necessary to justify strengthening the panel's risk recommendation from suggestive evidence to likely carcinogen. That's certainly typical, considering tests by biased, business-friendly researchers often result in biased, business-friendly results.

By the way, PFOA isn't the only toxic chemical you need to be worried about. In fact, only a handful out of some 80,000 chemicals used commercially are regulated by the EPA.

USA Today February 15, 2006

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