Thursday, November 17, 2005

DuPont hid chemical risk studies?

Did you know that there's a chemical named Zonyl that's used on the inside of candy wrappers and popcorn bags? Did you know that the chemical is related to Teflon? Me neither. If you're also hearing about this for the first time, then it's a safe bet that you didn't know the maker of the chemical, DuPont, stands accused of hiding reports that might indicate the chemical is very likely to be a carcinogen.

::::::::DuPont Co. hid studies showing the risks of a Teflon-related chemical used to line candy wrappers, pizza boxes, microwave popcorn bags and hundreds of other food containers, according to internal company documents and a former employee.

The chemical Zonyl can rub off the liner and get into food. Once in a person's body, it can break down into perfluorooctanoic acid and its salts, known as PFOA, a related chemical used in the making of Teflon-coated cookware.

The Environmental Protection Agency has been trying to decide whether to classify PFOA as a "likely" human carcinogen. The Food and Drug Administration, in a letter released Wednesday evening by DuPont, said it was continuing to monitor the safety of PFOA chemicals in food.