If you open up your kitchen cupboard, there’s a good chance you’ll find at least one non-stick frying pan or baking sheet. These make cooking trouble-free and became popular because it made it easier to cook with less oil. That non-stick coating is also known as Teflon, and the chemical name is Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA). Not only are these chemicals found in cookware, but also other common household products which are stain or water resistant such as carpets and clothing.
PFOA/S are so prevalent that they are found in the blood of most humans and animals. We ingest it through the food we cook in Teflon pans, microwave popcorn and fast food containers. It can be absorbed by touching clothes and then the mouth. It is also in the water supply due to contamination from PFOA chemical plants. These chemicals are very slow to degrade, so they stick around for a long time and accumulate in the food chain.
Despite the popularity and convenience offered by these industrial chemicals, they unfortunately expose us to serious health risks.
A recent study reviewed all research that examined the effect of PFOA/S related to the thyroid gland in humans or animals. It was found that the chemicals accumulated in the thyroid gland specifically. Consistent exposure to the chemicals can lead to hypothyroidism, particularly in women and children, who also can develop thyroid failure.
The Canadian association National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health lists many other health risks associated with PFOA/S exposure. It’s labeled as an “endocrine disruptor”. Studies show that it can affect fertility in men and women, it increases cholesterol levels and may be linked to prostate cancer.
What is the solution?
Although it’s impossible to eliminate it entirely, you can take steps to avoid purchasing products with Teflon, stain and water repellents, and fast food packaging. Because we all have been exposed, it would be wise to detox occasionally to help the body eliminate it.
If you’d like to learn more about how environmental chemicals impact our health, I invite you to check out a new book called The Toxin Solution, written by my friend Joseph Pizzorno, ND. Dr. Pizzorno discusses the various subtle ways we are exposed to toxins through food, air, and water, and how toxins are the most common cause of chronic illness. In his words, “Through deep research, I found the one link causing (1) unexplained symptoms, (2) chronic disease and pain, and a way to reverse them. The impact toxins are having on our health are devastating, but the reversal is astounding.” He gives suggestions on how to lessen exposure and how to detox these chemicals out of the body. You can pre-order from Amazon HERE.
Reference: J Endocrinol Invest. 2017 Feb;40(2):105-121