OT for some groups, Teflon that works some of the time.

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<aspasia> wrote in message wrote:

Both Teflon and plastic bottles, mostly PET, have FDA approval for food contact. It takes years to get approval and includes considerable toxicity testing of all the ingredients in the plastic as well as extracts of the plastics. You may like glass bottles or aluminum cans but chances are that these also have polymeric, FDA approved coatings. Toxicity of food products lies not in the packaging but in the food itself. Frank
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frank.logullo wrote:

Thalidomide and Celebrex, among others, also had FDA approval.
Jerry
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On Mon, 23 Apr 2007 18:24:18 -0400, "frank.logullo"

Metal cans are lined, but I don't think glass bottles are.
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wrote:

toxicity
that
products
Probably not. Scratch resistant coatings can be outside. Contact would be drinking out of bottle. But, then there is the cap and liner which contacts drink. It's pretty hard to avoid plastic. For the chemophobics responding, EC and Asian packaging regulations are not as stringent as US FDA. Frank
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On Mon, 23 Apr 2007 18:24:18 -0400, "frank.logullo"

Nominated for least scientific statement of this or any millennium.

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aspasia wrote:

It's like saying that someone shot full of bullets has lead poisoning.
Jerry
--
Engineering is the art of making what you want from things you can get.
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<aspasia> in :

If you have a reference to something new here, aspasia, please post. The rest of this is about what's not new.
Teflon (PTFE) cookware safety is among the oldest topics of public Internet food-related discussion. I participated in a cookware thread about this nearly 25 years ago on ancestors of some of these newsgroups. The classic, ancient issue (publicized since 1960s) is volatile gas hazards under extreme heat (exploited, as a minor but interesting side note, for working plasma in practical "ion drive" engines for spacecraft outside atmosphere). A secondary topic in recent years concerned hazards or disposal of chemicals used in PTFE manufacture, basically unrelated to the home risks problem, but some people confused them, which clarified little. Below is a summary I posted to a food forum in 2006.
-- Teflon decomposition to fluorinated gasses happens under extreme heat such as empty pans left on a flame until they glow. Warning: ANY cookware left unattended with food in it routinely produces toxic and/or explosive gases too (I can tell you first-hand) so this is not really a "Teflon" issue when viewed in perspective, and the person who eschews Teflon from practical fear of heating pans unattended has a larger problem and should not cook. What is peculiar to Teflon plastics is that they can form toxic gases under these conditions without food present. That is only part of the story. The other part, which for some reason is less popular, is that this hazard doesn't occur, at all, if the pans are used normally. Actually, compared to some popular metallic cookware surfaces, Teflon is demonstrably less reactive and less contaminating in normal use. Also, Teflon-coated aluminum skillets are used stressfully, day and night, in US commercial kitchens. Go to a restaurant-supply dealer and look what's hanging up on the wall.
I talked recently to a home-cookware dealer who agreed that every few years, a new set of consumers gets anxious over partial or garbled accounts of this issue, despite the extent of daily use of these pans in homes, restaurants, and cafeterias without incident. "Can you imagine the lawsuits," he said, if there were?
The reason I stress this subject (besides having run into it online for 20-some years) is that it's one of those technical issues that's popular but a little complex. Not too complex to be comprehensible, but too complex for one-liners and sound bites. I was talking to a chemistry-professor friend lately, a cooking fanatic who knows this issue (and the ins and outs and history of Teflon). We've both dealt with other technical subjects of this kind in our work, and recently I encountered yet another one. People got anxious after hearing a little bit about it, but didn't go further, to put it into perspective (which is necessary for an informed assessment). It seems that once they've formed a hasty emotional judgement, many people want to cling to that. It may be in the nature of these situations. As Pope said, a little info can be intoxicating, the larger dose sobers you.
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On Tue, 1 May 2007 11:22:48 -0700, "Max Hauser"

Ask anyone who works with domesticated birds for a living about the hazards of Teflon cookware.
CWM
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Max Hauser wrote:

[rations exposition snipped]

Max,
It is, as you say, an emotional issue for some people, not subject to rational analysis. I think I know part of the reason. There are many hazards we have to contend with -- exhaust particulates, contaminated water, adulterated food -- that we can do little or nothing about. An issue like Teflon can provide an artificial feeling of empowerment: we *can* do something! Even if it doesn't matter, it feels good.
I built a piece of equipment used on the Mercury space capsule. The electronics was entirely encapsulated in isocyanate foam to provide vibration resistance. I was not allowed to use wire insulated with vinyl because vinyl releases noxious fumes (phosgene) when overheated. Instead, I had to use Teflon (which releases fluorine, but at a much higher temperature).
Jerry
--
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"Jerry Avins" in :

Unfortunately what feels good can do bad, as you know. That false feeling of empowerment can lead people wholeheartedly to unwise decisions. (Here I'm thinking more widely than Teflon. Few people, if any, will be harmed directly by NOT using Teflon-coated cookware, whatever their rationale.)

Considering all the available data about possible (but VERY unlikely) hazards around us, and what glorious demagoguery they'd make (and sometimes, do make), you or I could become guru-prophets of the Nasty Risks They Aren't Telling You About (note the useful word "they") -- cynically working this anxiety response to empower _ourselves._ (That is of course, if you or I didn't have a conscience.)
A thought for the day. -- Max
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Codicil about those ion drives (since you too encountered Teflon volatilization in space-related projects, Jerry):
I handled such a drive in the 1970s at a space laboratory, but did not work on it. In conventional chemical rocket fuels, a classic objective is concentrated energy, formally "specific impulse" (SI). Also known as oomph.
High-performance chemical fuels deliver SI circa 200 or 300 seconds or more. (For any unfamiliar reader, the number has practical meaning, it's the time a fuel can produce thrust equal to its own weight -- so to speak, lift itself off the ground.) Chemicals with higher SI tend also to be harder to handle.
In the 1970s, ion drives were said to deliver 40,000 seconds or more of SI. They actually got their energy from electricity. If you have a space probe that is well away from any planet, a long gentle thrust can get you going very fast. You burn a Teflon "candle" hot enough to make a plasma, which will take an electrical charge. Then you use your solar panels as a source of electric field to accelerate the ions and send them out the back. Inevitably if they go one way, you go the other. I understand it produced low accelerations (much less than earth gravity) so not useful for launching a craft from the ground, but very useful in interplanetary space where also the sun is much brighter, and electricity is "free."
Think of this, next time you marvel at the nonstick properties of your properly used Teflon cookware!
-- Max
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Max Hauser wrote:

Well, this is a cooking and chat newsgroup, so I guess it's OK so chat about my feeling that the ion-drive SI numbers were cooked. :-) Other fuels were taxed with bringing their own energy to the game. Ion drives use an external energy source not weighed into the accounting. It's rather like concluding that electric motors are far lighter than internal-combustion engines of the peak same power without accounting for the weight of the battery. Do you remember when the term "prime mover" had more prominence than it does now?
Jerry
--
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"Jerry Avins" in :

You could almost say it was nothing but hot air. (Forgive me, bad company lately. Physicians discussing research related to liver damage, after which one of them said, three times, that Web-based medical advice must be viewed with a jaundiced eye ...)

Yes, I suppose, Jerry: That would be important to contenders at the Rocket Fuel Olympics, for fairness. Much as air-breathing engines (including SCRamjets) have advantages over rockets because they poach part of their supplies en-route. The SI number is just cited for drama. I can't think of many situations where one could actually use a rocket in place of an ion engine or vice versa. People have tried hard, on the other hand, to develop air-breathing transatmospheric craft [translation: space shuttles]. One of those people told me (at the dFVLR) in 1985 that this could potentially replace the huge rockets the US space shuttles needed to get into orbit. A dangerous configuration, with that big external oxygen tank. "Don't be surprised if you wake up one morning and hear that one of the space shuttles has exploded." (When that happened exactly, a few months later, I sent a telegram right away, regretting that he was right. He wrote back predicting that the disaster would be traced to some minor component, taken for granted: "a clevis pin, or an O-ring.")
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Aside from being tiresome, this applies to cooking how?
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Chuck wrote:

Since you quoted nothing, I can only go by the subject of the thread. People cook in Teflon. It scares some of them. We think it needn't.
Jerry
--
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:

To that _mot croquant_ (aside: ever worked as an editor, Jerry?) I grant that spacecraft are afield, but you never know where a technical principle can have unexpected utility. I could indeed tell you some stories.
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