We shoulda known from the Reagan connection
The June issue of Mother Jones includes a fascinating and terrifying story about Teflon, which, MJ explains, sticks to us … forever. (The story isn't online so far.) The shit that makes Teflon work, perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, is linked to cancer, birth defects and liver damage, which is why 3M Corp quit making it in the '90s. And once you get it, you got it forever. We quietly accumulate it in our tissue for a lifetime. Alas, DuPont, the company famous locally for helping to create the stinkhole known as Rubbertown, continues to make Teflon (not in Louisville, though). The company plans to phase out PFOA by 2015. Because now is apparently inconvenient.
I thought Teflon was just in non-stick cookware, but it's everywhere:
- kids' pajamas
- those fuckin' Dockers you can spill coffee on without staining
- takeout coffee cups
- microwave popcorn bags
- ice cream cartons
- toilet bowl cleanser
- Stainmaster carpet
- dental floss (!)
But here's an aside from the Mother Jones story that knocked me over:
"…We're all toxic dumps anyway. EWG [Environmental Working Group] studies have found a "body burden" of 455 industrial pollutants, pesticides, and other chemicals in the bodies of ordinary Americans…"
Is it any wonder we're as sick as we are? We keep building greater and more technologically marvelous hospitals, medicines, surgical procedures and other ways to treat our diseases but we make so little effort to prevent what's causing them.
If you want to learn more about what's in your tissue (or your baby's), the EWG study is here.