Your TV popcorn may be killing you!

Everyone loves popcorn, especially when watching movies and TV. So we toss a bag of microwave popcorn into the microwave and wait for the delicious aroma of fresh popcorn. Munching the fresh popcorn we revel in its richness, often accompanied by a beer or soda. But what exactly are we eating?

In addition to the corn, we are eating salt – perhaps too much – and butter substitutes, of dubious safety. Much more important is an invisible hitchhiker – Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a cousin of Teflon. Whoa, what is this stuff and what is it doing to me?

PFOA is a fluorinated chemical that is similar to common detergents, except for the addition of atoms of fluorine. Coatings of this material are able to repel oils, and are used as barriers on the paper of micowave popcorn to prevent the butter from escaping the bag during standing on grocery shelves and during microwaving. But the heat of microwaving causes the migration of the PFOA into the butter and onto the popcorn.

You may be wondering, “So what?” The answer is that it is a danger to you health. The Science Advisory Board of the U.S. EPA agency says the agency should classify PFOA as a likely human carcinogen. So, make your popcorn the old fashion way, and use real melted butter.

The next issue will connect the hazard of PFOA to carpeting in your home. You don’t have to eat your carpeting, all you have to do crawl around on it – babies – or inhale dust off it.


About donlouis

The author has long had a keen interest in staying healthy and fit, and in doing whatever I can to keep the natural environment unpolluted and a healthy space for people and all animals. As a former Board Member of a municipal water district, I regularly had to deal with the issue of water quality. I first became aware of radiation hazards from toxic materials while working on uranium for nuclear reactors. During the 1960s I was tuned into the global hazard from Strontium 90 raining down from atmospheric testing of nuclear bombs. While working in the chemical industry in later years I became aware of the many forms of chemical contaminants entering the environment every day, and resolved to do something about it. I am able to make sense out of the voluminous descriptions of common toxic chemical because of my training in chemistry, with a Ph.D. degree and several decades of research and development work in the chemical industry. My training and experience enables me to present to readers reliable and current information on the topic of chemical hazards in the environment, and their threats to human health. All my life I have loved hiking and camping in nature. Skiing, river kayaking, and tennis have been my favorite physical activities. Nature photography is my artistic passion.
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