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Teflon Town: A Toxic Legacy

pfoa exposure

Story at-a-glance -

  • Toxic emissions from ChemFab, a maker of Teflon-coated fiberglass fabrics, have polluted drinking water and soil in North Bennington, Vermont, with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
  • On average, Vermont residents have PFOA blood levels of 10 micrograms per liter. Among Bennington residents living in the areas of contamination, blood levels of 1,125 micrograms per liter have been detected; hundreds of wells in the area have also been contaminated
  • Residents in Belmont, Michigan, are also facing water contamination, as the area is site to an old dumping ground for Wolverine World Wide, a shoe company that used 3M’s PFOS-containing fabric protector Scotchgard for waterproofing leather shoes
  • Exposure to PFOA and similar chemicals is linked to developmental problems, cancer, liver damage, immune effects, thyroid problems and more

By Dr. Mercola

In the late 1960s, Chemical Fabrics Corporation (ChemFab), a maker of Teflon-coated fiberglass fabrics, the type used on conveyor belting, sports stadium domes and similar structures, opened a factory in North Bennington, Vermont. With promises that "absolutely no pollutants" would be given off by the factory, the company enjoyed explosive growth for decades, eventually expanding its headquarters into Merrimack, New Hampshire, and grossing $126 million in sales in 2000.

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