Note: EWG (www.ewg.org) is one of my favorite organizations that investigates causes of pollution. Earlier this month I posted The Dirty Dozen & Clean 15 from EWG. I also posted some information on safe food plastic containers from National Geographic’s Green Guide. This article from a longer article* from EWG goes a little further and discusses perfluorchemicals and “greenwashing.” (EWG does get political!) The excerpts from the article are #26 on my Earth Day, Every Day postings.
EWG advised we avoid products such as this one.
Perfluorcemicals are found in carpets, clothing, fast food wrappers, and pet food bag linings. Some have trademarked names, such as Scotchguard, Stainmaster, and Gore-Tex. Unfortunately, while they may protect your carpets or clothes from stains, they are polluters of the environment and our bodies. Additionally, the article notes that PFCs are related to the following health issues:
1. Smaller birth weight and size in newborns
2. Elevated cholesterol
3. Abnormal thyroid hormone levels
4. liver inflammation
5. weaker immune defense against disease
The article then lists ways to avoid PFCs so you can avoid the above-mentioned ailments. Notice that some of them are easy-to-do “green” actions, such as #4.
1. Don’t use the optional stain treatment when you buy new carpets & furniture. Search for non pre-treated items.
2. Avoid clothing without Teflon or Scotchguard trademarked garments. Look for untreated cotton or wool or items that aren’t labeled stain- or water- repellent.
3. Avoid non-stick pans and kitchen utensils and look for stainless steel or cast iron instead.
4. Use real plates instead of paper.
5. Pop your popcorn over the stove the old-fashioned way. Microwaveable popcorn bags are often coated with PFCs on the inside.
6. Look for cosmetics and other personal care items without the ingredient PTFE or perfluoro on the list.
Cast iron is consider safer than non-stick pans
The second page of the article contains information on how big companies such as DuPont & 3M are polluting the environment with their toxic chemicals. The article states: “Companies place human health and the environment at risk when they expose the population to chemicals that haven’t been proven safe, that get into people’s bodies, and that pollute the environment indefinitely.” This is followed by several recommendations and ends with another important statement.
“As well established by science and acknowledged by the FDA, food packaging chemicals can migrate into food….The health risks from food packaging chemicals add to the risks from hundreds of other industrial chemicals that contaminate the human body…it will take broad reform of public health protections… (requiring) that companies test chemicals for safety before they are sold….”
*To read the entire article on the Internet, go to: www.ewg.org/reports/teflongreenwash. It is entitled:
“Credibility Gap: Toxic Chemicals in Food Packaging and DuPont’s Greenwashing: EWG’s Guide to PFCs”