Scientific Panel Links Teflon Chemical to Cancer
Posted on July 4, 2005
USA Today reports that a scientific panel says that a chemical called PFOA, which is used to make Teflon, is more likely to cause cancer than the U.S. government has previously indicated.
PFOA, or perfluorooctanoic acid, is a "likely carcinogen" according to an advisory board to the Environmental Protection Agency. The science panel's pronouncement is the first step in a process that could result in the agency regulating or even banning some uses of the popular manufacturing agent.The article also says that cancer concerns are heightened by recent CDC studies that found PFOA in the blood of 95% of Americans. Scientists do not yet know how PFOA is getting into Americans' blood. The USA Today article also describes some of PFOA's uses:
The independent science board disagrees with a risk assessment of PFOA that the EPA drafted and released earlier this year in which the chemical was described as a "suggested" carcinogen.
PFOA is used in the manufacture of Teflon coatings on pans. It is also found in widely used coatings that make upholstery and clothing stain-resistant and in a grease-resistant coating on microwave popcorn and fast-food packaging among others.