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Monday, May 14, 2012
chemicals in food packaging, fabric coatings
Thursday, April 26, 2012 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) An independent scientific panel has determined that perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), also known as C-8, a commercial substance produced by chemical giant DuPont, causes kidney and testicular cancer in humans. And because of how pervasive this chemical is -- more than 99 percent of Americans have PFOA in their blood -- the consumer advocacy organization Environmental Working Group (EWG) is calling for the government to take action and stop ignoring the problem.
For more than 50 years, DuPont has been producing PFOAs for use in non-stick cookware, grease-resistant food packaging and stain-resistant furniture, carpeting and clothing. But this pervasive chemical continues to be exposed as a deadly toxin that can cause very serious health problems, especially since it is now also being found in drinking water supplies nationwide.
In 2009, individuals living near DuPont factories where PFOA was being produced filed a class action lawsuit against the company for poisoning their water. After ruling in favor of the plaintiffs, a U.S. District Court judge ordered that DuPont establish a scientific assessment panel to appraise the environmental and human health damage caused by PFOA exposure.
Unable to stack the panel with its own biased scientists, DuPont was forced to have its PFOA chemicals honestly and independently scrutinized. And the end result was a complete stripping of the emperor, so to speak, as PFOAs were revealed to be highly toxic poisons capable of literally destroying the human body.
"Widespread pollution by PFOA should be a wake-up call that our chemical regulation system is severely broken," said Olga V. Naidenko, Ph.D., a senior scientist at EWG. "It is particularly urgent for the Environmental Protection Agency to develop a legal limit for drinking water pollution by PFOA, which is currently unregulated and never should have come to market."
Full phase-out of PFOA production in the U.S. will not commence until 2015, and its replacements will not be safety tested before approval
Though DuPont has agreed to phase out the production and use of PFOAs, this will not transpire fully until 2015. In the meantime, millions of Americans, including young children in their critical developmental years, will continue to be exposed to this unregulated, untested chemical, which besides causing cancer is also linked to cholesterol problems (http://www.naturalnews.com/029676_PFOA_non-stick_cookware.html) and immune system degradation (http://www.naturalnews.com).
But PFOA production still be allowed to continue in other countries. And its replacement chemicals here at home will not be required to undergo safety and environmental testing prior to their approval, which means new chemicals even more dangerous that PFOAs could potentially come to market in their place.
You see, federal law does not require that chemicals undergo safety and environmental testing prior to being approved -- the EPA literally just approves new chemicals based on empty promises made by their manufacturers. This is why EWG and many other groups continue to push for regulatory reform that will mandate independent safety testing of chemicals before they are even considered for approval.
"The current law is so toothless that the Environmental Protection Agency could not use it to ban asbestos," says EWG about the failed Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976. "Since its enactment, tens of thousands of untested chemicals (like PFOA) have come into use, and more appear daily."
As a solution, EWG is pushing for passage of the Safe Chemicals Act, which would reform TSCA and require proper safety testing of all chemicals before they come to market. Be sure to urge your Congressmen to cosponsor or support the Safe Chemicals Act by visiting: http://action.ewg.org/t/1875/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=26526