Non-Stick Chemical Linked to Thyroid Issues PFOA is used in pots and pans, furniture and even clothes By Harry Kimball, Newser Staff Posted Jan 21, 2010 11:53 AM CST 20 comments Comments Pans for sale. (AP Photo) (Newser) – A common household chemical used to make non-stick pans, stain-resistant furniture, and even apparel has been linked to an increased risk of thyroid issues. The chemical, PFOA, is inert and can stay in human tissue for long periods. Researchers looked at medical records of almost 4,000 Americans and found those with the highest levels of PFOA were twice as likely to have thyroid problems. “It's been thought that because they're inert they don't cause any health problems,” one researcher tells the Guardian, “but we're starting to see some evidence that is suggesting that's not true.” PFOA, manmade and prized for its resistance to water, grease, and heat, is present in humans and animals across the globe. The researchers admit the correlation between the chemical and thyroid issues is unclear, and thyroid disease could well result in an accumulation of PFOA, and not vice versa.