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Favorite Cooking Surface May Be Dangerous

Oh, no, not Teflon! We've all loved this non-stick cooking surface ever since it was developed from research done by NASA for the space program. But now the EPA warns that even low-level exposure to this substance can cause "apotential risk of developmental and other adverse effects" on human health.

Juliet Eilperin writes in the Washington Post Teflon may eventually be regulated by the government, causing havoc in the business community, as well as in kitchens all over the world. The EPA wants to fine DuPont, the company that produces perfluorooctanoic acid, also known as C-8 (the main ingredient in Teflon) over $300 million for suppressing the results of its studies showing the dangers of the popular non-stick coating.

As usual, the dire results have come about from a study of rats exposed to C-8. In these studies, it caused cancer and affected the rats' immune systems. The criticism in rat and mouse studies always is, were the animals exposed to an unusually large dose of the substance being tested?more, per body weight, than a human would ever ingest? So far, we do not have the answer to that question and the EPA obviously doesn't either.

The EPA says that cooking in Teflon-coated pans may also increase people's levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. High levels of these substances can trigger a stroke. This is ironic, because one of the reasons for cooking in Teflon in the first place is to avoid using artery-clogging fat.

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Art credit: http://www.freeimages.co.uk

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