Read the full article by Tom Pelton (WYPR)

“After World War II, the DuPont chemical company began marketing Teflon, the miraculous-seeming nonstick agent sold on pots and pans around the world.

Then a farmer who lived near a DuPont plant in Parkersburg, West Virginia, watched 190 of his cows die with blackened teeth, swollen organs, and mysterious illnesses. The farmer and his wife got cancer.

The farmer called a lawyer, who filed a class action lawsuit made famous in the movie ‘Dark Waters.’ EPA intervened and phased out a chemical used to make Teflon, called PFOA, which was linked to increased risk of cancer. PFOA was pulled from the market in 2015. But there are still thousands of related chemicals – called polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS – that are still widely used in consumer products and still being found in rivers, streams, and drinking water across the U.S.

A bill being debated in the Maryland General Assembly would ban this broader category of chemicals – PFAS — in all food packaging, new rugs and carpets, and firefighting foam. Manufacturers often use PFAS chemicals for their water-repelling, grease-cutting, and flame-retardant properties…”