John Oliver is still absolutely thrilled to be out of Last Week Tonight‘s void and back with a live audience. His deep dive segment, however, (following a callout of Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, who’ve been blocking the Build Back Better Act) was a grievous one and concerns something that affects everyone, although it’s a silent threat: PFAS. That’s short for perfluorinated carboxylic acids, which are found in many common household items and, as our host points out, rampant in DuPont products, particularly those non-stick pans that make kitchen experiences much easier to stomach.
Unfortunately — and this is highlighted in a satiric take on a DuPont ad (from Danny DeVito) at the end of the segment — these PFAS are highly toxic, and exposure is rampant. Not only that, but as Oliver points out, “PFAS are what’s known as forever chemicals” that stuck around for “thousands of years, and that combination of toxicity and longevity is a real problem.” The chemicals link up to cancers, thyroid dysfunction, high cholesterol, and (yikes) “decreased response to vaccines.” Even more terrifying, a toxic, man-made chemical (C8) used by DuPont has wafted through America and can be found in the blood of an overwhelming majority of us. Oliver puts a silly spin on this by pointing out that he’s finally found a commonality with Fast and Furious star:
“A CDC study found that C8 is in the blood of 99.7 percent of Americans. Meaning [at] the very least, Vin Diesel and I finally have something in common. Every single thing about our genetic makeup, general attitude, and vocal tambre are dramatically different, but when it comes to toxic chemicals in our blood, it’s potato/potato, my friend. Or should I say, ‘My family.'”
So, not good news at all! And this is happening largely because DuPont seduced the world because people prefer pans “that don’t get stuff suck to them,” and we’re cooking with these pans and inhaling released fumes and then eating food cooked inside of them. So, sure, John Oliver finally unearthed what he’s got in common with a high profile action star, but we’re all potentially affected, too. It’s no wonder, as Oliver pointed out, that he’s the bearer of bad news, given that “the original name for this show was That Thing You Like is Bad with Saddy Longlegs.” Catchy.