Currently, DuPont is the only maker of PFOA products in America, but soon, this will be changing. DuPont, previously supporters of products made with PFOA, such as nonstick pans, has committed to phase out manufacture, purchase and use of the PFOA chemical by 2015. This new goal comes after an independent scientific panel approved by the DuPont company has linked the industrial chemical known as C-8 or PFOA to kidney and testicular cancer in humans. The study was forced on DuPont as part of a class action lawsuit, but forced or not, the end-results are favorable for consumers, as PFOA has been previously linked to other health concerns such as breastfeeding problems, changes in sex hormones, high cholesterol, early death, autism, tumors and delayed development.
EWG notes that PFOA emissions resulting from past DuPont manufacturing practices to produce non-stick coatings have polluted the water of, “At least nine states and the District of Columbia,” plus PFOA and related chemicals are now found in the bodies of more than 99% of Americans. Pollution has been most pronounced around Parkersburg, W.Va., nearby a DuPont factory and because of the new study findings, EWG states that DuPont, “May be forced to spend more than $200 million on medical monitoring programs for current and former residents of the area.” In spite of study results that link PFOA to kidney and testicular cancer and possibly thyroid cancer, not to mention pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia, DuPont seems reluctant to admit that PFOA is an actual danger. The company states that they’ve developed new alternative technologies merely, “Due to questions about very low levels of PFOA in the blood of the general population, and due to customer interest in product alternatives.” Still, reluctant or not, we’re glad that DuPont is phasing out this chemical. Hopefully they won’t simply replace PFOA with another dubious chemical. By the way, until better than PFOA pans are readily on the market, you may want to stick to good old cast iron – with a little butter or oil, your food won’t stick.
Lead Image by Flickr User Average Jane