Can doctors do for Teflon what they did for lead? In the 70s, industry tried to convince us that lead was still fine. It took a lot of hard work from Dr. Phil Landrigan and others to get laws passed that limited lead levels in paint and gas. Now, new studies have emerged that find PFOAs–the toxic Teflon chemical–are much more dangerous than originally thought. Will our government listen?
The Teflon chemical is no longer produced or used in the United States, but the CDC found it in the blood of more than 99% of Americans–even those who weren’t born when it was banned, because it passes through the placenta from mother to child.
DuPont used PFOA–as well as PFCs and PFAs–to make Teflon for 50 years. This class of Teflon chemical has been linked to cancer, birth defects, immunity problems and infertility.
Now a new meta-analysis of Teflon chemical studies by Philippe Grandjean of Harvard and Richard Clapp of the University of Massachusetts-Lowell concluded that “the federal government’s recommended ‘safe’ level for PFOA in drinking water – a non-enforceable Provisional Health Advisory set in 2009 – is hundreds to more than 1,000 times too high to fully protect people’s health,” according to Environmental Health News.
What does this mean? PFOA could be the next lead–or asbestos, for that matter–which is dangerous at any level of exposure.