Called PFOA, the chemical was approved by the federal government 38 years ago for coating the packaging of a wide range of food products to prevent grease stains.
"Nobody likes to see a popcorn bag with grease that's penetrating through. It looks like it's old and greasy and grimy," says Glen Evers, a former DuPont senior engineer.
Evers tells ABC News DuPont tried to hide the fact that the chemical coating comes off and ends up in humans in far greater concentrations than originally thought.
In addition, scientific surveys have found the Teflon chemical, which is linked to organ damage and cancer in lab animals, is now in the blood of virtually every American. The chemical then stays in the blood, a fact that was unknown when the chemical was first approved.
"It bioaccumulates, which means the chemical goes into the blood, and it stays there for a very long period of time," said Evers.
A DuPont memo from 1987, obtained by the Environmental Working Group, reveals test results that show the chemical was coming off at three times the amount DuPont first thought it would.
Read the story on chemical combinations, and the incredibly minute amounts that can cause problems, the EPA doesn't even test for that.