Have you watched "The Devil We Know?" or "Dark Waters" yet?
I highly recommend that you do. My partner and I watched them a few weeks ago and after watching both the documentary and the Hollywood rendition, we threw out all our 'non-stick' pots and pans, our rice cooker, waffle maker and about 10 packages of dental floss. Yes, you heard me correctly, it's in our dental floss. Watching both of these, opened up my eyes to what was lurking in most house holds and is linked to many forms of cancer.
Both these films explain the Dupont scandal surrounding Teflon. I won't go into a huge story line here, but briefly, this company knew about the extreme side effects of this chemical and lied to its workers, consumers, and stake holders which essentially made them billions of dollars and landed them the top Teflon manufacturers in the world. The films expose the lie, the side effects, and the long legal battle that is still going on. Lastly, the film causes you to think about the cancer rates within our society and challenges you to do something about it. I started with as mentioned, posting this on my Instagram, throwing out our Teflon based products and writing this blog. All this to stay how important it is to pay attention to what you are using, consuming, and using on your body.
Teflon is a brand name used for a group of man-made chemicals, PFOA (as used in the films) for example, that has been in commercial use since the 1940's. It is a risk to our health because it stays in our environment and our blood stream for our entire life, it takes over 4 million years to break down. In case studies with animals have found exposure to PFOA increases the risk of certain tumors of the liver, testicles, mammary glands (breasts), and pancreas. Well-conducted studies in animals do a good job of predicting which exposures might cause cancer in people, too. Studies in people have suggested an increased risk of testicular, kidney, thyroid, prostate, bladder, and ovarian cancer.
I am not trying to scare you, but more so challenge you to look what is your house to eliminate your exposure to this man-made chemical that increases the likelihood of getting cancer. Here is a list of the products that may be in your home that include Teflon:
- Frying pans, woks and saucepans (go for stainless steel)
- Dental Floss (go for natural)
- Microwave popcorn bags (try kernels and stove stop pop them)
- Irons (you can try a steamer)
- Ironing boards (check the brand)
- Hair straighteners, curling wands (ceramic is OK!)
- Baking gear, including most parchment/grease proof paper (go for stainless steel, or grease it up with olive oil or butter)
- Carpets and sofas (say "no" to scotch guarding)
- Waterproof shoe spray (try beeswax)
- Waterproof mascara (not all, but check the ingredients)
- Light bulbs (look for the words PTFEs or non stick)
- Sandwich and waffle makers, rice cookers and slow cookers (go for stainless, cast iron or enamel)
- Waterproof clothes, namely raincoats (this one is hard to avoid, opt for an umbrella)
- Outdoor deck waterproofing sealants (go for natural brands)
Needless to say, Teflon is everywhere around us and after watching the films, modifications of the chemical are being made so it is not going anywhere anytime soon. Be careful out there and take the time to learn about the products you are using. Inspect your house, detoxify your life, and reduce your risk of cancer.