Health Topics A-Z




























Chemicals & Toxins Lurking in Your Kitchen

From the Show: Wellness for Life
Summary: What you use in your kitchen to cook can severely affect your family's health.
Air Date: 5/15/15
Duration: 10
Host: Susanne Bennett, DC
Guest Bio: David Andrews, PhD
EWGLOGODr. David Andrews is using his background in chemistry and nanotechnology research to investigate environmental health issues. His work focuses on finding ways to change national environmental regulations and government policies to protect public health. During his five years at the EWG, he has developed comprehensive knowledge of the regulatory processes affecting industrial chemicals, consumer products, cosmetics and nanomaterials. David has conducted more than 100 media interviews on various public health issues and frequently deals with federal agencies and legislative offices. His recent work has included collaborating on designing and building EWG’s consumer databases, highlighting the overuse of confidentiality claims submitted to EPA and organizing a conference for a federal initiative to set priorities for nanotechnology research. He holds a B.A. in chemistry from Wesleyan University (Connecticut) and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Northwestern. He has authored more than 10 scientific publications and holds a patent on quantum interference devices.
Chemicals & Toxins Lurking in Your Kitchen

There are toxic chemicals that may be lurking in your very own home, particularly in your kitchen.

These toxic chemicals are known for their health hazards, including cancer and birth defects.

In this segment, Dr. David Andrews provides his list of chemicals that may be found in your cookware, dinnerware and even your water.

Dr. Andrews also provides tips on how to avoid dangerous chemicals when shopping for items you need around your home. 


RadioMD PresentsWellness for Life Radio | Original Air Date: May 15, 2015
Host: Susanne Bennett, DC
Guest: David Andrews, PhD

You are listening to Radio MD. She is a chiropractic, holistic physician, bestselling author, international speaker, entrepreneur and talk show host. She is Dr. Susanne Bennett. It is time now for Wellness for Life radio. Here is Dr. Susanne.

DR SUSANNE: In my book, The 7-Day Allergy Makeover, I talk a lot about allergens and chemicals in your kitchen, specifically about staying away from non-stick pans lined with PTFE. It is also known as Teflon made by Dupont. You know, when the non-stick pan has been scratched and heated, it can release a chemical called Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Now, this toxic chemical is known for its health hazards including cancer and birth defects. Well, my next guest is here to share that even if you don't use these Teflon-coated pans that you and your family still remain at risk. Dr. David Andrews has been all over the media. He is very passionate about informing the public about the dangers of chemicals, some that are found in our very own home.

Welcome, Dr. Andrews.

DR ANDREWS: Hi. Great to be here, Dr. Bennett.

DR SUSANNE: Thank you. Tell the listeners just in a very short summary what happened about Teflon. What was that all about many years ago and why do we still need to remember that?

DR ANDREWS: Sure. We released a report earlier this month that really detailed the legacy of this pollution. Originally, these Teflon chemicals were being produced by Dupont and 3M in large quantities and ended up contaminating neighboring communities as well as the globe. And so ten years ago, along with a court case, we helped publicize some of the deception and cover up that these companies have gone to to really hide the health effects of these chemicals, and it led to one of the biggest fines ever levied against a company, at least in this part of our environmental regulation regulating industrial chemicals and it led to the phase out of these most concerning chemicals. So, these chemicals have to be phased out by the end of 2015 but what we are concerned about is that the replacement may not be all that better.

DR SUSANNE: I want to learn more about those replacements. I know that you mention, on your site, that you came out with and now we are talking about Environmental Working Group’s site? Isn’t that correct?

DR ANDREWS: That is correct ewg.org and our report is right up there prominently featured, it is titled ‘Poisoned Legacy 10 Years Later Chemical Safety Justice for Dupont’s Teflon Victims Remains Elusive.’ And so, we detailed, really, this legacy of pollution and this chemical as you mentioned earlier PFOA is kind of an integral ingredient in making Teflon, the non-stick coating that goes onto pans, clothing, numerous places in your house it’s integral in some of the carpet non-stick treatment and carpets, also in couches, also tablecloths, really a chemical that finds its way all throughout your house and in the environment. And this chemical was through contamination of nearby water supplies in West Virginia and Ohio, we learned that it’s probably linked to testicular cancer, kidney cancer, thyroid disease, heart disease caused by high cholesterol, pregnancy induced hypertension. This is in a population study of 70 000 people where the drinking water was contaminated. What we do know is that this chemical contaminant is now found throughout the globe, you can detect it in blood of, essentially, all Americans as well as polar bears in the arctic and animals all across the globe. So, it is really concerning in that these chemicals last an extremely long time in the environment, possibly decades or centuries or longer and that they build up in people’s bodies; they build up in our blood and then they cause these detrimental health effects.

DR SUSANNE: What you are saying is even if it is gone by 2015 which I'm so excited about and happy that is going to be the case and more and more people are going to learn about it. I mean, it is in dental floss you know what I mean? You were talking about that carpet stuff and microwave popcorn bags, can you believe that? We are literally popping away our popcorn and we are eating it every single day. It’s pretty scary and, as you are saying, there is a lot. It’s not just our bodies but the animals that are out there in the wild but also domesticated animals, isn’t that right?

DR ANDREWS: That is correct. They are ubiquitous in the food supply. One of the concerns that you mentioned is a lot of food contact uses where it’s on some of the plastic and materials that touch your food, the popcorn bags is a great example. Also very common in carry out containers, sandwich wrappers at your local deli or sandwich shop, pizza boxes. They’re used to greaseproof these paper or cardboard products and yet, at the same time, they may have this unintended consequence of providing or exposing us to these really concerning chemicals. So, as you mentioned, by the end of the year this most concerning chemical where we have fifty years of evidence of the harm that it causes is being phased out of the market, but we timed our report with the publication of a statement and paper by fourteen international scientists in Environmental Health Perspective which is a very prestigious US public health journal. And what these fourteen scientists were calling for was they are really raising concern about all the alternatives that are coming on the market as replacements for the chemicals that we now know causes these really damaging health effects including cancer.

DR SUSANNE: What are these? Yes.

DR ANDREWS: So, the concern is that we bringing out to the market potentially over a hundred alternative chemicals that share as many of the same characteristics and they just haven’t been very well studied and they’re now ending up in all of these consumer products, a lot of these places where the old concerning chemicals were being used, we’ve now got these new ones.

DR SUSANNE: Can you please just share a few of the chemicals, the names of them so we can look out for them?

DR ANDREWS: Sure. Well, the thing is, even some of the chemical names themselves are claimed confidential and secret. But oftentimes, you will see the Teflon label, Goretex, those are some of the more common ones that have the PFOA coating, the Perfluorooctanoic. Those chemicals or those labels you will often find in your house. So really, what it comes down to with textiles, the labels you will see any textile that is claiming to be stain repellant, non-stick, most of those will be coated with PFC chemicals.

DR SUSANNE: Yes. You just mentioned something: non-stick. I remember using Scotch guard when I was growing up I wanted to go to the local snow and go skiing and I didn’t have any ski pants, so I literally Scotch-guarded my jeans. Do you remember that? I don't know you might be very young but I used to do that and that is the stuff you are talking about the PFOS’s right?

DR ANDREWS: Absolutely. It’s these highly perfluorinated chemical. That’s another example the Scotch guard formulation, those original coatings ended up on jeans, clothing and they advertise it for use on clothing and they are very commonly used in carpeting and carpet treatment in extremely high concentrations. So, naturally, in people’s houses and work places carpets actually use the highest quantities of these materials.

DR SUSANNE: A lot of us know that having new carpet, a lot of children to get allergic to it skin issues irritations, you know? I know that you also have EWG Skin Deep which is an excellent list and database of all the different types of substances that you put on your skin and I just wanted to plug that in because that is a great, great resource right there.

Thanks so much, Dr. Andrews, you are such a great, wealth of information. I'm definitely going to have you back here. I love it. Love it.

Okay, everyone you know educate yourself. Go to ewg.org website or you can go to my show page on RadioMD.

Until next time this is Dr. Susanne Bennett sharing natural strategies for ultimate health and wellness right here on RadioMD. Stay well.