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At Least Six Million Americans Are Drinking Toxic 'Teflon Chemicals' With Their Water


At Least Six Million Americans Are Drinking Toxic 'Teflon Chemicals' With Their Water

Nika Knight, staff writer

At least six million Americans in 33 states are being exposed to unsafe levels of industrial perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) chemicals in their drinking water, found a study published Tuesday in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters.


I linked to an article on this about 6 months ago and it worse than even suggested here. As this article points out , this chemical never breaks down. It is created in some laboratory and is then there forever. Companies that made this stuff would simply dump excess in landfills or rivers and streams.

I recall many years ago reading a science fiction book where species were not considered elevated enough to become one of the elite species if they maintained a chemical industry. Producing chemicals and poisoning the environment with the same indicated said species a failure.

In any case these man made chemicals and toxins are everywhere and that legacy will remain in this environment for a long time. Carl Sagan used to suggest the reason we have not been in contact with alien species to the degree the math suggests we should have been was because many destroyed themselves in nuclear wars.

I suggest this fascination with the latest and greatest technologies without considering the consequences and all for the sake of profits , in the way of chemicals , drugs, and manufactured goods , is every bit as dangerous.


Thank You Nika Knight for this article, and thank you Xindi Hu for heading up this study and releasing your findings. Poisons abound and bells are tolling. The formal and informal structures within this first world country are faltering, defective, in need of repair...healing. Stay hydrated!


This is what a politician sees: thats less than 2% of the population...meh.


Use carbon water filters.


The article fails to mention that Teflon tape is regularly used in plumbing to seal threaded connections---the stuff is ubiquitous in the supply systems regardless of the quality of water passing through them. Considering this, one might suggest that the number of Americans drinking toxic 'Teflon Chemicals' is likely closer to 350,000,000.


Thanks for mentioning this. I live in a country where teflon tape use is ubiquitous in water pipe connections, and I hadn't ever thought about the risk before. Yikes.


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Coincidentally, last night my housemate used a Teflon-coated pot, while steaming tamales. She bought it used at Goodwill, looking for a pot that can steam tamales. She'll never use that toxic pot again:

Boiled it dry, it bubbled and burned and released its fumes into the tamales and the kitchen air.

Luckily summer, windows open, but just another micro-dose of toxic profiteering chemicals. Now we're wondering if we should feed the contaminated tamales to the worm box, or send them "away" to the landfill.

Barry Commoner's Four Laws of Ecology:

1) Everything is connected to everything else. There is one ecosphere for all living organisms and what affects one, affects all.
2) Everything must go somewhere. There is no "waste" in nature and there is no "away" to which things can be thrown.
3) Nature knows best. Humankind has fashioned technology to improve upon nature, but such change in a natural system is, says Commoner, "likely to be detrimental to that system".
4) There is no such thing as a free lunch. Exploitation of nature will inevitably involve the conversion of resources from useful to useless forms.


It would have been helpful had the 33 states been named.


Non stick regulation


Not to worry. Last I heard, humankind is looking at 2025 as the date the methane and CO2 start to really pour out of the melting Arctic area. Breathing methane will leave all of us not worrying about teflon...or anything else, ever again.


The article doesn't mention what production-process produces these "Teflon Chemicals" as a by-product externality. Thus it doesn't mention what we should be using instead. Pretty painless when you focus on one thing without paying any mind to the other things it is connected to.

Since the topic does not come up in the article's incomplete treatment, no ability to discuss trade-offs, like maybe more risk of Typhoid in the water in exchange for less risk of Teflon chemicals.

For what it's worth, here is what Wikipedia says
Product Range
Pre-treated carpeting ND (<1.5) to 462
Carpet-care liquids 19 to 6750
Treated apparel 5.4 to 161
Treated upholstery 0.6 to 293
Treated home textiles 3.8 to 438
Treated non-woven medical garments 46 to 369
Industrial floor wax and wax removers 7.5 to 44.8
Stone, tile, and wood sealants 477 to 3720
Membranes for apparel 0.1 to 2.5 ng/cm2
Food contact paper ND (<1.5) to 4640
Dental floss/tape ND (<1.5) to 96.7
Thread sealant tape ND (<1.5) to 3490
PTFE cookware ND (<1.5) to 4.3

PFOA is an ideal surfactant because it can lower the surface tension of water more than hydrocarbon surfactants while having exceptional stability due to the presence of multiple carbon–fluorine bonds.[39][41] The stability of PFOA is desired industrially but is a cause of concern
environmentally. PFOA is resistant to degradation by natural processes
such as metabolism, hydrolysis, photolysis, or biodegradation[29] making it persist indefinitely[42] in the environment.