Ensia: In Search of Safe Replacements for Harmful Chemicals Used in Cookware, Carpets, Clothing, Cosmetics, and More


When Donald Taves discovered two kinds of fluoride in his blood in the late 1960s, he immediately knew something was wrong.

Everyone assumed that blood contained just one type of fluoride, a naturally occurring form that health officials added to drinking water to prevent cavities. But levels in people’s blood didn’t seem to relate to those found in their water supply. Taves, then a researcher at the University of Rochester, set out to find out why — and discovered that his blood contained a second form of fluoride. With colleagues from the University of Florida, he then analyzed additional blood samples, from over 100 people living in five different U.S. cities. The researchers found this second form — which he suspected was a synthetic, highly stable form made by adding fluorine atoms to a carbon chain — in their blood, too.

Liza Gross

Read more at Ensia.com