The Sheep Look Up

PFOA or perfluorooctanoic acid, also known as C8, is a surfactant used in the production of Teflon® or polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), the non-stick substance found in a billion kitchens. It was also used to make Gore-Tex, fast food wrappers, pizza boxes, and microwave popcorn bags. Related chemicals are released if you overheat your Teflon cookware; they can kill birds in seconds, which is why we eliminated all the Teflon from our kitchen a decade ago.

PFOA/C8 itself is linked to pregnancy-induced hypertension, high cholesterol, thyroid disease, testicular and kidney cancers, and ulcerative colitis. It’s chemically stable, so like Mercury it builds up in the body and makes its way up the food chain. It’s dangerous even at low levels.

Initially DuPont disposed of it by burying it in barrels along the Ohio River. Later, they switched to packing it in drums and dumping them in the ocean. Finally, in 1965 they started dumping it in landfills.

But as early as 1961, DuPont knew from internal research that it was toxic and should be handled with extreme care. And now 99% of Americans have enough of it in their bodies that it can be detected in their blood.

You can expect to read more about this soon, as the lawsuits begin this fall