Author’s Blog
4th Oct

2017

How Long Do Non-Stick Chemicals Actually Stick Around?

Popcorn PFOA blog

I’m talking about chemicals that are found in many of our furnishings, cookware, food packaging, outdoor clothing and cosmetics, even dental floss! They are called highly fluorinated chemicals with names like Teflon, PFASs, PFCs, C8 and PFOA. Their function is to make things water and stain resistant. And manufacturers have a hard time resisting them!

Once they get into the environment, highly fluorinated chemicals will continue to pollute and stick around…. forever! Compare that to other problematic chemicals, such as BPA, which sticks around for days and weeks, or even DDT, which sticks around for decades.

Highly fluorinated chemicals get into our bodies mainly through unintentional ingestion and contaminated drinking water supplies (sometimes the result of the use of firefighting foams). Highly fluorinated chemicals can cause cancer, obesity, endocrine disruption, liver function problems, low birth weights and ulcerative colitis. That’s a long and scary list.

So, what can you do to avoid these dangerous chemicals?

  • Don’t buy Teflon coated or non-stick cookware
  • Don’t buy clothing that is labeled “stain resistant” or “water resistant”
  • Don’t buy microwave popcorn (bags are lined with PFOA)
  • Avoid paper “take-out” food containers (with PFOA coating inside)
    (safer take -out containers include aluminum and untreated paper)
  • Avoid furniture covered with treated fabrics – those with “water and stain resistant” labels
  • Avoid carpeting treated with highly fluorinated chemicals for stain and water resistance
  • Avoid cosmetics that are labeled “waterproof” (i.e. mascara)
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