The Dangers of PFOA

Christoph Miksche
2 min readDec 8, 2022

PFOA, also known as perfluorooctanoic acid, is a synthetic chemical that has been used in a variety of industrial and commercial applications. It is a key ingredient in the manufacture of Teflon, a non-stick coating used in cookware and other products. PFOA has also been used in the production of firefighting foams, stain-resistant coatings for carpets and clothing, and other products.

Despite its widespread use, PFOA has been linked to a range of serious health problems in both humans and animals. Studies have shown that PFOA can cause developmental and reproductive harm, liver damage, and cancer. In particular, PFOA has been linked to an increased risk of testicular and kidney cancer.

One of the most high-profile cases involving PFOA was the DuPont PFOA scandal, which was brought to light in the Hollywood movie “Dark Waters.” In this case, DuPont, a major chemical company, was accused of knowingly exposing thousands of people to PFOA through its manufacturing facilities, resulting in serious health problems for many of the residents living near the plants.

Despite the known dangers of PFOA, it is still used in a number of products around the world. In recent years, there has been increasing pressure on manufacturers to phase out the use of PFOA and other potentially harmful chemicals in their products. However, the process of finding safer alternatives can be slow and expensive, and many companies are reluctant to make the switch.

Conclusion

In conclusion, PFOA is a dangerous chemical that has been linked to serious health problems in both humans and animals. Its widespread use in a variety of products has raised concerns about the potential risks to human health. The DuPont PFOA scandal, depicted in the movie “Dark Waters,” has brought attention to the need for increased regulation and oversight of potentially harmful chemicals.

My actions

Personally, I’ve decided to stop buying new Teflon pans (cast iron pans last longer anyway), use reusable silicone baking mats instead of baking paper, and overall try not to get too involved with PFOA products (what is difficult, because often no information is given about the ingredients of outdoor clothing, for example)

Also, I do not invest in stocks related to PFOA. Incidentally, DuPont’s PFOA division was spun off in 2015 in a spin-off called “Chemours”. Besides Chemours, 3M is one of the largest PFOA producers.

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Christoph Miksche

Software Developer and Investor from Germany. Writing about Software, Tech and Investments.