The Environmental Protection Agency launched an investigation into the potential health risks of a chemical known as C8 or perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). PFOA is used in the processing of many fluoropolymers by several manufacturers.
Such materials include Teflon which is used in many common items such as furniture, carpet, jackets and non-stick cookware.
To this end they have embarked on a review that will require industry to submit data by mid-July. Data will show where PFOA is used, and how people are exposed to it and whether high level exposure poses a risk to humans.
In response to the EPA’s announcement, DuPont and other companies have stepped forward and volunteered to assist the EPA in their research to find answers to the questions they have raised regarding the health risks of PFOA.
The EPA has stated that they have not determined whether or not PFOA poses a health risk or not. They are however looking to determine this. At this stage they do not see any reason for the public to stop using products that have been manufactured using PFOA. Meanwhile, the research that will be carried out will improve the understanding of the biopersistance of PFOA.
For more information on other polymer additives, click here.