Teflon linked to arthritis! In a medical stunner, some of the chemicals used in the common surface coating Teflon have been linked to an increased prevalence of arthritis. Researchers found that people with the highest levels of a chemical that is part of Teflon processing (perfluorooctanoate or PFOA) in their blood stream were up to 40 percent more likely to develop arthritis than people with lower blood levels more typical of the general U.S. population. The study focused on nearly 50,000 adults living in areas of Ohio and West Virginia where a chemical plant had contaminated water supplies with PFOA and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), both chemicals are widely used in non-stick and stain-resistant coatings. Both chemicals are “persistent organic pollutants,” meaning they remain in the environment and in the human body for many years. Both have also been shown to adversely impact human and animal immune systems, including functions such as inflammation that are linked with arthritis. While it’s unknown if there’s a causal link (whether these chemicals cause arthritis), the Teflon linked to arthritis association is concerning. The upshot? I for one have thown out all of our Teflon pans!