DuPont Slammed by EPA -- But Teflon Dangers Are Illusory

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Environmental groups are likely to tout today's announcement that DuPont settled for more than $10 million with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the chemical compound perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). The EPA alleged that Dupont failed to meet certain legislatively mandated reporting requirements with regard to PFOA, which is a byproduct of the process used in manufacturing Teflon.

Any group that tries to assert that this settlement speaks to any potential risks of exposure to PFOA is misleading you, though. This has nothing to do with alleged health effects of PFOA, let alone your Teflon cookware -- which does not contain PFOA (PFOA is only used during the production process). For more on the safety of Teflon, please see the American Council on Science and Health publication Teflon and Human Health: Do the Charges Stick? ( )

The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) strives to put risks in perspective, and we've seen all too many times over the years how scaremongers treat regulations as if they are flawless indicators of risk to human health. Running afoul of byzantine EPA reporting rules is hardly the same thing as endangering the populace. ACSH encourages focusing attention on real health risks, regulated or unregulated, from smoking to skin cancer, rather than never-ending anti-chemical paranoia.

Jeff Stier, Esq., is an associate director of the American Council on Science and Health (,