Over the last 20 years the EPA and other agencies have slowly realized that low quantities of biproducts in teflon are more toxic than anyone realized. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is the specific compound found to be highly carcinogenic. In 2002 the EPA put a cap on drinking water at 150 ppb, this has been continuously lowered until 2016 where they currently expect safe levels need to be lower than 70 ppt! Studies have show an expected 98% of Americans have ppb levels of the carcinogen in there body and ocean water is already reaching ppt levels along the coast. Like heavy metals (and teflon of course) the compound doesn’t break down and accumulates in the blood over time. As of 2017 DuPont has settled more than 3,500 personal injury lawsuits related to PFOA, but as there are limited alternatives to teflon in many applications it might be a global issue. You may consider this next time your looking at teflon-lined cookware.
If your interested in learning more about the lives of the Virginia people living close to the DuPont teflon production site you can check out the new documentary “The Devil We Know.”