finds DuPont's Teflon non-stick coating (again), as tens of thousands of Ohio
and West Virginia residents will have their tap water tested over the next 12
months to determine if their health has been compromised by drinking water
contaminated with a chemical used to make the coating known as
perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).
Aside from cookware, Teflon can be found in everything from clothing to
car parts and flooring.
Tests will be administered on as many as 80,000 residents who receive
their tap water from six public water districts or private wells where PFOA
has been found near DuPont's Washington Works plant along the Ohio River near
And in addition to knowing whether their water is contaminated with the
chemical, residents will also receive $150 to answer a health questionnaire;
and if they agree to submit a blood sample, an additional $250. The blood
sample will be subjected to 51 blood tests that check for cancer markers,
organ functioning and the presence of PFOA.
However, only residents who received the water for at least a year before
December 3, 2004 will be eligible to participate in the testing.
DuPont Fits the Bill
DuPont agreed to pay for the screenings to settle a 2001 class-action
lawsuit filed by residents who claimed the company intentionally hid and
misrepresented information concerning the nature and extent of the human
threat posed by PFOA in drinking water.
About $70 million for resident payments and lab work.
An estimated cost of $10 million to provide the six
water utilities with new treatment equipment to reduce the chemical in water
And, based on the findings, another $235 billion to
monitor the residents' health.
The goal is to complete all testing in a year and hand it over to a panel
of court-approved epidemiologists for their review.
MSNBC July 8,
Dr. Mercola's Comment:
Teflon-coated cookware does offer a certain level of convenience that
is difficult to find elsewhere. But are you willing to sacrifice your health
for ease in kitchen cleanup? I know I certainly am not, and there are many
practical tricks you can use to achieve virtually the same benefit as you do
with non-stick cookware.
Do you really want to exchange a few minutes of convenience for an
increased risk of cancer and many bizarre health complaints?
My strong recommendation is to ditch these pans and avoid non-stick
finishes altogether. I threw my Teflon pans out a long time ago and have
never regretted it.
If you plan to continue using these products, please at least refrain
from cooking with them
at high heat or continuing to use them if they have been scratched, as
both situations can liberate PFOA into your food.
The safest cookware you can use is made with ceramic-coated metal.
Ceramic is virtually inert and will not transfer any metal ions to your food.
My staff is currently researching specific brands to recommend and we hope to
have some shortly.
For safe cooking, it is also important to use a stable oil
like coconut oil -- vegetable oils are easily damaged by the heat -- and
to not overcook
If you still aren't convinced of the potential dangers of using Teflon
cookware in your kitchen, I highly encourage you to read this story from
prominent health educator, and contributing editor for Mercola.com, Gary
Craig, who linked his problem with frequent urination to his Teflon-coated
frying pan. It's quite an amazing testimony.
EPA Says Teflon Could Put
Your Health at Risk
Teflon Finds Itself in
Chemicals are a Threat to Health