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Consumer Alert: Cancer-Causing Toxins in Nonstick Cookware End Up in Water Supply


Some of the conveniences that come with modern life, such as nonstick cookware, waterproof clothing and stain-resistant carpets, come with a downside — the chemicals used to make them are ending up in the water supply. According to a new report by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the chemicals are more harmful to health than previously thought.

These hazardous compounds, called polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), are ubiquitous. In addition to being used in the manufacture of various products, they are put in food packaging to extend shelf life. The threat to health is due to microscopic particles breaking off from the chemicals, which are ingested through consuming food and water tainted with them. Research associates PFAS with an array of ills, including cancer, impaired immunity, delayed puberty, low birth rate, high cholesterol, liver damage, cardiovascular disease in pregnancy, thyroid disease and reduced fertility.

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Studies Are Igniting Concern Over Widespread Exposure

Concern is growing over studies that show how many Americans are exposed to PFAS. An investigation found the chemicals are a component of one-third of fast food packaging. Even worse, a 2015 study found PFAS were present in 97 percent of human blood samples tested.

Moreover, a nation-wide analysis revealed levels of the chemicals reached or exceeded the EPA’s recommended limits in public water systems in 33 states, serving 16 million people. The number of people exposed could be much higher, as the Environmental Working Group estimates it could reach 110 million.

Water Near Military Bases is a Particular Concern

Water in certain areas poses a greater risk. Testing shows levels of contamination are higher in water systems near airports or military bases, where PFASs are used in firefighting foam.

Just prior to the release of the EPA study, ABC News reported on Satellite, Florida, a small community near Patrick Air Force Base. Twenty people in their 20s and 30s who were former classmates at Satellite High School have been diagnosed with uncommon cancers. Testing found PFAS from military firefighting foam in groundwater wells at levels higher than what the EPA considers safe. Residents of the area are alarmed, suspecting a connection between the chemicals and the cancer.

Local water companies around the country have three primary options for attacking the PFAS problem. These include adding more water to dilute the chemical, avoiding the use of wells with high PFAS levels, and removing the chemical with carbon-based treatment, which can cost up to $1 million for a large utility company.

“It can be treated, but it requires treatment that is above and beyond what a lot of these systems have in place,” Lawrence Hajna, a spokesman for New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection told PEW.

Policymakers Take Action

In response to concerns, policymakers in several states are enacting legislation that would reduce public exposure. The state of Washington has banned PFAS in firefighting foam and prohibited its use in fast food restaurants. New Jersey has proposed limiting the chemicals in the water supply to 13 to 14 parts per trillion, which is considerably less than the EPA limit of 70 parts per trillion. A proposed bill in California would require companies to list PFAS in packaging labels, and a bill under consideration in New York would ban the chemicals.

So what can you do to take action ASAP? We recommend purchasing a water filter to ensure that your drinking water is as clean as possible. Click here for some great options by Brita.


Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.

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One response to “Consumer Alert: Cancer-Causing Toxins in Nonstick Cookware End Up in Water Supply”

  1. […] Consumer Alert: Cancer-Causing Toxins in Nonstick Cookware End Up in Water Supply […]