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Finally, U.S. Government Acknowledges How Dangerous Non-Stick Cookware Chemical Is

February 28, 2006 | 7,104 views
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Scientific advisers to the EPA have voted to approve a recommendation that perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which is used to make non-stick cookware and various stain-resistant products, should be considered a likely carcinogen.

The EPA is free to either accept or reject the decision.

Objections from Manufacturers

Two manufacturers objected to the panel's finding, claiming that there was "selective use" of the studies examined. They questioned the use of 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One was an unpublished study conducted during the '80s linking PFOA to mammary tumors in lab rats that was included because it was peer-reviewed by the EPA.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 the manufacturer of the leading non-stick cookware brand and Dow Chemical Co. not considered by the panel that challenged the results of the unpublished study.

The only panel member to criticize the ultimate decision was James Bus, a lead toxicologist for Dow Chemical Co.

Worrying About Profits

Meanwhile, an increasing number of home chefs have been wondering about the safety of non-stick cookware since the initial studies, which found PFOA in the blood of nearly all Americans. Currently, roughly 70 percent of the cookware sold in the United States has a non-stick coating.

The leading non-stick cookware brand, worried that sales could fall, has taken out full-page advertisements in eight prominent daily newspapers declaring their products' safety.

The EPA has asked U.S. companies to voluntarily reduce public exposure to the chemical. The leading non-stick cookware brand pledged to meet the deadlines. Last year, the EPA fined the manufacturer $16.5 million for hiding data on PFOA toxicity for more than 20 years.



Dr. Mercola's Comments:


An independent advisory panel to the EPA recently ruled perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), the chemical used to make non-stick cookware, and other non-stick and stain-resistant chemicals are "likely" carcinogens. The EPA's own Science Advisory Board has now unanimously approved that recommendation.

Now that the EPA has called for a ban, albeit voluntary, on the production of PFOA, the manufacturer of the leading non-stick cookware brand is starting to worry about the publicity backlash.

However, the pricey full-page ads they've taken out in USA Today, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times, hoping to change your minds about non-stick coating toxicity, may have the opposite effect. Calling attention to the problem by defending a product can create concern when none was present in the first place.

Because the PFOA ban is merely a voluntary one, for now, I urge you take matters into your own hands today by removing every non-stick coated pan you own from your home. If you're not convinced and want an example of how PFOA can harm your health, I urge you to review Gary Craig's account of treating a long-standing health problem by getting rid of his tainted cookware.

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. So what can you do to minimize your exposure to all these chemicals?

Since eating is the most likely way you will introduce the majority of these chemicals into your body, you should clearly focus most of your attention on that first.

Minimize your restaurant food and have home-prepared meals as frequently as possible. Take your lunch to work. Avoid purchasing fast foods. And purchase organic whenever possible, as that will dramatically reduce your exposure to many of these chemicals.

I also strongly urge you to read Our Toxic World: A Wake Up Call. The author, Dr. Doris Rapp, does a thorough job of uncovering the many ways you are exposed to toxic chemicals, and how they could take a toll on your health and contribute to several chronic diseases.



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