Early on Sunday morning, ten victims received treatment for toxic exposure after an incident at a plastics company in Wayne, New Jersey. The hazardous fumes that infiltrated the building stemmed from the manufacture of polytetrafluoroethylene, also known as Teflon, which is used for non-stick cookware. Although the Department of Environmental Protection classified the toxic exposure event as a level 1 hazardous incident, which is the lowest on the threat scale, ten individuals, including a worker from the plastics company, a police officer, over five firefighters, and a couple of EMTs went to the Chilton Memorial Hospital for treatment. Once they received treatment, they were discharged, and will be monitored for 48 hours for any potentially adverse reactions.
Polytetrafluroroethylene, and similar chemicals, like PFOAs and PFOS, used in the manufacture of non-stick products, food packaging, and other household items, contain serious health risks. The EPA warns that medical conditions such as thyroid disease, kidney and testicular cancers, pregnancy complications, and other health issues may develop after chemical exposure to these types of chemicals. Communities and their residents could be exposed to the potentially life-threatening chemicals if they are located near factories that use the chemical via contaminated water or soil.