What is it Wedneday

What is it Wednesday – Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and Fluorinated Chemicals

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Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and Fluorinated Chemicals


Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is a chemical that does not occur naturally in the environment. It was introduced into the environment after World War II. The Environmental Protection Agency has identified PFOA as a “likely carcinogen”. Most people tested in the US have PFOA in their serum.1 It has been used in consumer products such as Teflon, Gore-tex, stain resistant carpets and fabrics, water repellant clothing, paper plates, fast food packaging, and processed food packaging; most notably microwave popcorn. While the FDA no longer allows PFOA and PFOS or anything that breaks down to these “long-chain chemicals” in food packaging, the agency still allows roughly 90 fluorinated chemicals in food-contact paper.2

The human health effects from exposure to low environmental levels of PFOA are unknown. PFOA can remain in the body for long periods of time. In laboratory animals given large amounts, PFOA can affect growth and development, reproduction, and injure the liver. The CDC states that there is no conclusive evidence that PFOA can cause cancer in humans. However, some studies have reported increases in prostate, kidney, and testicular cancers in humans exposed to high levels of PFOA. More research is needed to assess the human health effects of exposure to PFOA, but there are ways you can avoid fluorinated chemicals.3

How to Avoid fluorinated chemicals

  1. Avoid stain-resistant carpets and upholstery
  2. Avoid products with words containing “per­uor-”, “poly­uor-”, and “PTFE” on the label
  3. Choose cast iron, glass, or enamel cookware
  4. Filter your drinking water with a solid block carbon ‑filtration system
  5. Eat more fresh foods to avoid fast food packaging
  6. Avoid microwave popcorn and greasy foods wrapped in paper (read on for an easy microwave popcorn substitute)


Make your own microwave popcorn without all the processed junk!

There are plenty of ways to make popcorn, Food Babe has some great recipes if you want to avoid the microwave altogether (but we’re still working on that) so I’m going to show you our quick go to for popcorn in 3 minutes or less!

Recently I bought a silicone popcorn maker from Pampered Chef (contact your rep or drop me a comment and I’ll set you up with mine!).

I also snagged some seasoning for my husband but I’m a simple kinda gal so I just use popcorn kernels and some organic coconut oil.

The popcorn maker has a small cup on the top, so I used one scoop of kernels and a tablespoon of coconut oil. I simply popped (see what I did there) it in, set the timer for 2 1/2 minutes and viola, microwave popcorn! I was really impressed with how simple it was. So there you have it, easy popcorn without the junk. If you don’t have this nifty tool you can also make popcorn on the stove using your skillet with a lid and oil of choice!

Happy popping~


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2920088/pdf/ehp-0901827.pdf
  2. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/acs.estlett.6b00435
  3. https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfc/health_effects_pfcs.html
  4. https://silentspring.org/sites/default/files/Tip-sheet-for-highly-fluorinated-chemicals.pdf
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