Bilott watched the video and looked at photographs for several hours. He saw cows with stringy tails, malformed hooves, giant lesions protruding from their hides and red, receded eyes; cows suffering constant diarrhea, slobbering white slime the consistency of toothpaste, staggering bowlegged like drunks. Tennant always zoomed in on his cows’ eyes. ‘‘This cow’s done a lot of suffering,’’ he would say, as a blinking eye filled the screen.
In 1961, DuPont researchers found that the chemical could increase the size of the liver in rats and rabbits. A year later, they replicated these results in studies with dogs. PFOA’s peculiar chemical structure made it uncannily resistant to degradation. It also bound to plasma proteins in the blood, circulating through each organ in the body. In the 1970s, DuPont discovered that there were high concentrations of PFOA in the blood of factory workers at Washington Works. They did not tell the E.P.A. at the time. In 1981, 3M — which continued to serve as the supplier of PFOA to DuPont and other corporations — found that ingestion of the substance caused birth defects in rats. After 3M shared this information, DuPont tested the children of pregnant employees in their Teflon division. Of seven births, two had eye defects. DuPont did not make this information public.
In 1984, DuPont became aware that dust vented from factory chimneys settled well beyond the property line and, more disturbing, that PFOA was present in the local water supply. DuPont declined to disclose this finding. In 1991, DuPont scientists determined an internal safety limit for PFOA concentration in drinking water: one part per billion. The same year, DuPont found that water in one local district contained PFOA levels at three times that figure. Despite internal debate, it declined to make the information public.
James Freyr wrote:It’s my understanding that PFC’s (perfluorinated chemicals, the whole family of chemically similar non-stick chemicals) like Teflon are no longer allowed in the production of cookware or other food related packaging like pizza boxes and microwave popcorn bags. Ever notice how the new ceramic non-stick and copper non-stick pots & pans all of a sudden surged onto the market in the last few years? They filled the void in the market created when PFC’s were banned in cookware.(
As part of its agreement with the E.P.A., DuPont ceased production and use of PFOA in 2013. The five other companies in the world that produce PFOA are also phasing out production. DuPont, which is currently negotiating a merger with Dow Chemical, last year severed its chemical businesses: They have been spun off into a new corporation called Chemours. The new company has replaced PFOA with similar fluorine-based compounds designed to biodegrade more quickly — the alternative considered and then discarded by DuPont more than 20 years ago. Like PFOA, these new substances have not come under any regulation from the E.P.A. When asked about the safety of the new chemicals, Chemours replied in a statement: ‘‘A significant body of data demonstrates that these alternative chemistries can be used safely.’’
Last May, 200 scientists from a variety of disciplines signed the Madrid Statement, which expresses concern about the production of all fluorochemicals, or PFASs, including those that have replaced PFOA. PFOA and its replacements are suspected to belong to a large class of artificial compounds called endocrine-disrupting chemicals; these compounds, which include chemicals used in the production of pesticides, plastics and gasoline, interfere with human reproduction and metabolism and cause cancer, thyroid problems and nervous-system disorders. In the last five years, however, a new wave of endocrinology research has found that even extremely low doses of such chemicals can create significant health problems.
In 1938, former New Carlisle, Ohio, resident Roy J. Plunkett accepted a position with DuPont in Deepwater, New Jersey. One of his first assignments was to find a non-toxic, non-flammable coolant to be used in refrigerators. One of his attempts led to the creation of a slippery powder now called Teflon. Teflon's scientific name is Polytetrafluoroethylene. The powder proved capable of withstanding temperatures as cold as minus four hundred degrees Fahrenheit and as warm as five hundred degrees Fahrenheit.
It took several years for scientists to discover ways to use Teflon. During World War II, designers of the atomic bomb utilized Teflon to manufacture gaskets and linings that could resist the bomb's corrosive components. In 1954, two French engineers discovered that cookware coated in Teflon prevented food from sticking to the pots and pans. This discovery led to the first widespread commercial use of Teflon. Later in the twentieth century, scientists began to develop ways to utilize Teflon in the practice of medicine, as well as in numerous other industries
Anne Miller wrote:
I don't understand this as Teflon Pans are still being sold in stores?
HEALTHY - This frying pan with Teflon Classic From DuPont non-stick coating that makes cooking and cleaning easy， PTFE/PFOA free & FDA approved. Fried egg without oil. Nonstick, release food easy.