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Nonstick toxicity

Chemical promotes cancer development in fish

The experiments were fishy. But they appear to have uncovered something that rodent studies missed: a potential cancer risk posed by a compound used to manufacture nonstick coatings.

By mimicking the action of estrogen, this chemical, perfluorooctanoic acid, can promote cancer development, researchers report in an upcoming Environmental Health Perspectives.

Better known as PFOA, perfluorooctanoic acid is the nonstick agent that DuPont developed and used to launch its Teflon line of products more than 50 years ago. PFOA-based nonstick chemicals now appear in everything from carpets and fry pans to microwave popcorn bags.

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