"Common Chemical May Affect Liver at Low Levels"

"A new study suggests that a synthetic chemical that is ubiquitous in the environment and in people's blood may affect the liver -- though the significance for human health remains unclear.

The chemical in question is perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which is used to make substances called fluoropolymers. Used in an array of manufacturing processes, fluoropolymers impart fire-resistance and water, stain and grease repellency to everything from carpets to cookware.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), non-stick cookware and other consumer products coated with Teflon or similar trademark products are not manufactured with PFOA. However, some of these products may contain trace amounts of PFOA as impurities."

Amy Norton reports for Reuters January 13, 2010.

Thursday, January 14, 2010