Arizona Advanced Medicine Clinic

A Little Teflon With Your Lipitor® and Your Chemo?

The New York Times Magazine published an article about a corporate lawyer who took on DuPont Chemicals when he realized that perfluorochemical waste that they were dumping into a 66 acre landfill in Ohio was poisoning not only the cows who grazed downstream but also the entire Ohio River. You can read the full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/10/magazine/the-lawyer-who-became-duponts-worst-nightmare.html

Apparently DuPont sat on this information that Teflon was dangerous to both animals and humans since the 1960s. This is pretty scary. No wonder we have such a high incidence of chronic disease in our population. We have just been slowly poisoning ourselves.

According to Rob Billott, the above-mentioned corporate lawyer, DuPont documents show increasing concerns about health effects of PFOCs by the late 1980s, but apparently the product was too highly profitable to consider altering the manufacturing process or developing another perhaps safer product – so they purchased the 66 acre landfill on which to dump the toxic compound. Ten years later, after the farmer’s cows began dying in large numbers over a period of years, DuPont still did not acknowledge the dangers of which they were well aware from this compound used in one of their huge money-making products, Teflon® cookware.

Teflon® and other non-stick perfluorochemicals are dangerous to our health – even in minute amounts. And we have been blithely using them since the invention of non-stick cookware in the 1960s, thinking that they are safe for us. They were an amazing product - we all know how very convenient they are.

On Joseph Mercola’s website we can read that Teflon in minuscule amounts is associated with the following health issues:

Liver toxicity

Disruption of lipid metabolism, and the immune and endocrine systems

Adverse neurobehavioral effects

Neonatal toxicity and death

Tumors in multiple organ systems

Testicular and kidney cancers

Liver malfunction

Hypothyroidism

High cholesterol

Ulcerative colitis

Reduced birth weight and size

Obesity

Decreased immune response to vaccines

Reduced hormone levels and delayed puberty

Items that have been pre-treated with stain-repellants, and opt out of such treatments when buying new furniture and carpets

Water- and/or stain-repellant clothing. One tipoff is when an item made with artificial fibers is described as “breathable.” These are typically treated with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), a synthetic fluoropolymer

Items treated with flame retardant chemicals, which include a wide variety of baby items, padded furniture, mattresses and pillows. Instead, opt for naturally less flammable materials such as leather, wool, and cotton

Fast food and carry out foods, as the wrappers are typically treated with PFCs

Microwave popcorn. PFOA may not only present in the inner coating of the bag, it also may migrate to the oil from the packaging during heating. Instead, use “old-fashioned” stovetop popcorn

Non-stick cookware and other treated kitchen utensils. Healthier options include ceramic and enameled cast iron cookware, both of which are durable, easy to clean (even the toughest cooked-on foods can be wiped away after soaking it in warm water), and completely inert, which means they won’t release any harmful chemicals into your home.

While some will recommend using aluminum, stainless steel, and copper cookware, I don’t for the following reasons:

Aluminum is a strongly suspected causal factor in Alzheimer's disease, and stainless steel has alloys containing nickel, chromium, molybdenum, and carbon. For those with nickel allergies, this may be a particularly important consideration. Copper cookware is also not recommended because most copper pans come lined with other metals, creating the same concerns noted above. (Copper cookware must be lined due to the possibility of copper poisoning.)

Oral-B Glide floss and any other personal care products containing PTFE or “fluoro” or “perfluoro” ingredients. The EWG has an excellent database called “Skin Deep” you can peruse to find healthier options.

Click here to read the Skin Deep document: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/

Read the full Mercola article here: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/01/27/pfoa-teflon-cookware-dangers.aspx

The Environmental Working Group has written a “Guide to Avoiding PFCs” which is clear and easy to read. I highly recommend following this guide. Makes life a little less convenient – but then, cancer and hypothyroidism and high cholesterol and chronic illness are not very convenient either.

Read the full EWG guide and follow up on the references here: http://www.ewg.org/sites/default/files/EWG_pfcguide.pdf

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