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The Issue

Cookware

Under pressure from EWG, companies stopped using Teflon and similar chemicals in non-stick pans. But little is known about the newer chemicals, so EWG still recommends stainless steel or cast iron cookware.

Highlights

EPA, DuPont Agree to Virtually Eliminate Perfluorinated Chemicals by 2015 Read More
Chemical in Food Packaging, Fabric Coatings Linked to Cancer Read More

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The Latest on Cookware

Friday, May 7, 2004

A new study presented at a meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicologists and Chemists links the Teflon chemical C8 [also known as PFOA] to elevated cancer rates. Researchers found higher levels of prostate cancer in men and cervical and uterine cancer in women exposed to C8 than in the general population.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Thursday, November 13, 2003

PFOA is used to make PTFE, the Teflon in pans. However, scientific evidence points to fluorotelomers as the main source of the PFOA and other perfluorinated chemicals in Americans' blood. That fluorotelomers on coated paper food packaging break down into PFOA and other chemicals is a separate problem from PTFE and cookware. This source of PFOA is one that DuPont cannot control by reducing emissions or impurities in its products.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Thursday, July 10, 2003

EWG asks the CEOs of nine major fast food corporations to disclose the use of toxic nonstick chemicals in their packaging.

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News Release
Friday, June 6, 2003

EWG testifies at a EPA public meeting on teflon contamination, and charges DuPont repeatedly downplayed questions of the Teflon chemical’s toxicity.

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News Release
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

A series of studies published beginning in the 1950s shows that DuPont has known for at least 50 years that Teflon fumes at relatively low temperatures can cause an acute illness known as polymer fume fever. In several studies DuPont recruited human volunteers and intentionally exposed them to Teflon fumes to the point of illness. The results of these studies suggest that people cooking on Teflon and other non-stick pans may be at risk.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Telfon-coated cookware poses a hazard when it is heated to high temperatures. EWG tests show that in 2 to 5 minutes on a conventional stovetop, cookware coated with Teflon and other non-stick surfaces can exceed temperatures at which the coating breaks apart and emits toxic particles and gases linked to hundreds, perhaps thousands, of pet bird deaths and an unknown number of human illnesses each year.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Friday, April 11, 2003

EWG alleged today that the DuPont chemical company has violated federal law by withholding from the government for the last 22 years a company study that detected a toxic, Teflon-related chemical in the umbilical cord blood of one infant born to a company worker, and in the blood of another worker’s baby.

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News Release
Friday, April 11, 2003

EWG asks EPA administrator Whitman to investigation apparent reporting violations by DuPont Chemical. EWG submits documentation that DuPont had determined that 2 of 7 babies born to Teflon-exposed female workers in the company's Parkersburg WV plant had facial birth defects. DuPont had not reported this information to EPA as required under Section 8(e) of the Toxic Substances Control Act.

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Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Thursday, April 3, 2003

Consumers instantly recognize them as household miracles of modern chemistry, a family of substances that keeps food from sticking to pots and pans, repels stains on furniture and rugs, and makes the rain roll off raincoats. But in the past 5 years, the multi-billion dollar “perfluorochemical” industry has emerged as a regulatory priority for scientists and officials at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Friday, December 13, 2002

Secret tests conducted in 1984 by the DuPont chemical company found a Teflon-related contaminant (C8) in the tap water of the Little Hocking Water Association in Ohio, just across the river from the company’s Teflon plant in Parkersburg, West Virginia. But the company never told the community, its water utility or state regulators about the tap water testing program, which continued through at least 1989, or about the positive findings.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Wednesday, November 13, 2002

A review of federal and industry science on the toxic industrial chemical commonly called C8 (perflouroctanoic acid, used to make Teflon) reveals that water pollution policy by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is far less protective than previous industry standards.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Tuesday, November 12, 2002

"Contamination of drinking water supplies by the toxic industrial chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, or C8) is a continuing concern to the residents of Parkersburg and surrounding areas of Wood County near the source of the pollution, DuPont’s manufacturing operation in Washington, West Virginia."

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Testimonies & Official Correspondence

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