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Eliminate the use of Teflon


Eliminate the use of Teflon
August 21, 2004

I AGREE with the Aug. 16 editorial "Teflon Questions" that we shouldn't throw out our Teflon pans, and that we should send them back to Du Pont and let it deal with the disposal problems! Clearly, there is a problem when these man-made, resistant, persistent chemicals show up in our drinking water, our blood, and in such remote locations as the Arctic.

We should not wait any longer to eliminate the use of these chemicals when we already know enough, and safer alternatives exist that will do the job.

Not only did Du Pont fail in its reporting obligations, our government's delay in taking action has exposed us to unnecessary risks.

PFOA Teflon and its cousins, PFOS and the new Scotchgard, all have the halogen fluorine in them. Other halogenated compounds we are now unfortunately familiar with include another Du Pont product, the ozone-depleting CFCs, as well as the highly toxic PCBs, and the brominated flame retardants that have garnered attention in the past few years because of health effects that have led to phaseouts in the European Union and at home (California, Maine, Hawaii).

Avoiding the use of these miracle chemicals is the only way to protect our health and the health of our children.

New Salem

The writer is a biologist.

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