There is wide divergence on the safety assessment of these chemicals, thus making communication with the public extremely difficult.
Safe or low-risk doses for PFOA, and related chemicals by various governments, are currently widely disparate. Fortunately, recent findings in humans may reduce some of this disparity. Efforts to use this newer information should allow for harmonization -- or at least more consistency -- in government positions.
Perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, is a chemical commonly found in household products. Its purpose is to resist stains, grease, and other assaults. And it's been in the news for several years. In many workplaces and communities, PFOA has become a household name while triggering fears of adverse health effects and expensive, never-ending environmental cleanups. What’s going on? Let's take a look.
Veteran New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof fancies himself an expert in chemistry and toxicology. Chemists and toxicologists disagree.