Teflon was thoroughly tested for toxicity and was approved for cookware
by the FDA even though at the time it was not necessary due to the
Teflon pyrolysis gives off toxic fumes, the worst being
perfluoroisobutylene which for man causes polymer fume fever or flue
like symptoms for a short period. If you have a bird like a canary in
the kitchen, it could be killed by the fumes. This is why they used to
take canaries into mines to see if there were poisonous fumes as the
bird with its high respiratory rate would succumb to the fumes before it
affected the miners.
Recently there has been a concern about perfluorooctanoic acid used in
the Teflon process.
In cookware, I don't know if any is present but if any I suspect in the
parts per billion region or not enough to worry about.
Special to The Seattle Times
It's easy to guard against the obvious kitchen dangers, such as a hot
stove or sharp knives. But when you hear that pots and pans may be
toxic, what do you do then? Give up and just order takeout?
The good news is that most cookware will not put you at risk during
normal use. But you do need to be aware of potential hazards with
nonstick pots and pans. To make sure you don't cook up problems along
with your scrambled eggs, follow these guidelines when buying and
• Make sure nonstick pans stay nontoxic. The coating on nonstick
cookware contains a chemical called polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).
DuPont's Teflon is the most well-known brand. When heated to very high
temperatures, this coating creates hazardous fumes.
The synthetic chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is used to make
this nonstick coating and has various other industrial applications.
PFOA can cause cancer and birth defects in animals and may pose a risk
to humans, according to Consumer Reports. The Society of the Plastics
Industry, a major trade group, acknowledges that PFOA is found in the
blood of 95 percent of the U.S. population "and is persistent in the
environment, even in remote locations."
However, it appears that problems with nonstick pans occur only after
overheating. Lab tests recently conducted by Consumer Reports showed
that when new and aged pans were heated to 400 degrees, no significant
emissions of PFOA occurred.
If you use nonstick pans, you should be able to cook meat or eggs just
fine if you heat the pan to medium (300 to 400 degrees) and then
reduce it to low (200 to 300 degrees). DuPont does not recommend
heating Teflon pans higher than 500 degrees.
Remind everyone in your household to be vigilant when using nonstick
cookware. A preheated pan on high heat can exceed 600 degrees in two
to five minutes, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
• Keep the birds flying. Birds have extreme sensitivity to fumes from
nonstick pans. In the past 25 years, nonstick cookware heated at high
temperatures has been linked to the deaths of hundreds of pet birds,
Since all it takes is one distraction to result in an overheated pan,
the Green Guide recommends bird owners replace all nonstick cookware.
They should also avoid using nonstick cookie sheets, Teflon-lined
ovens and burners lined with Teflon drip pans.
The fumes from overheated nonstick cookware that kill pet birds can
also produce flu-like symptoms in humans. Make sure your kitchen is
• Don't get flaky. Particles from older nonstick pans can chip off and
get into food. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has stated that
these particles would pass through the body and not pose a health
hazard. DuPont also insists these particles will not cause harm when
Still, I'd rather use salt and pepper. Get rid of nonstick pans when
they start to flake. Consumer Reports says flaking can result in
uneven heating that may accelerate toxic emissions.
Even if your pans have not started flaking, the Green Guide recommends
replacing nonstick cookware after two years, since the coating may
then begin to degrade.
Bud a close friend called me to look at a investment property he was
interested in. We looked at it and found knob and tube wiring in some
areas of this triplex.
he was unable to obtain homeowners insurance, actually insurance just
on the building, since it was a investment and he backed out of the
the building still sits on the market today unsold. his agent told him
no one was able to get insurance and the property is detoriating and
vandalized. the owner is hard nosed but will likely have to drop the
price a lot to cover all new wiring. its in pittsburgh whicjh has
strict laws about using only specifically licensed electricians. my
buddy had a estimate of over 20 grand for all new service. no one has
wanted to spend that much money.....
compares nonstick (PTFE) skillets that cost under $50. The winner (on
page 2) was the T-fal pan. They still also liked a favorite expensive
(All-Clad?) pan that did not perform as well because it had a lifetime
I bought both the Yoshi Blue and the Green one. Fantastic
performance...for a short period and then no better than a teflon
coating, even wore out and started sticking sooner than teflon.
Those, of course, were the cheap end around $20. I also found dthat
the producers don't seem to know how to build a flat bottom pan. Fine
new but doesn't take long for the bottom to have a high spot in the
We're currently using one that says "TRANSTHERM WMF W-B2-S" on the bottom.
The surface finish, color, and texture greatly resemble Teflon, but the
friction coefficient is higher. It does work pretty well at keeping food
from sticking, better than non-coated pans, but you still often need to
scrub to get /everything/ off. No ceramic we've used quite comes up to up
to Teflon standards.
The WMF is my wife's pan. I prefer the ancient Wagner cast-iron pan that
we've had in our family since the '50s. Food does sometimes stick, but
comes off easily with a ScotchBrite pad.
My opinion is that if you want Teflon performance, buy a Teflon pan.
Good luck doing that after 2015, when the federal "almost ban" takes
place. I notice that many stores are already carrying replacement
products, usually anodized aluminum, due to the toxic fumes they emit
when idiot morons overheat the pans.
One way to make teflon pans last longer is to reserve
one or more for special use, where the non-stick surface
is essential. For example, I have one pan that I use just
for omeletes or similar light duty. By not using it for
frying, higher temps, etc, the surface remains non-stick
for a lot longer. The pan isn't anything special, either,
just a Tfall, which isn't that expensive. Also IMO the
perfectly smooth surface that you fequently find in less
expensive pans is actually more slippery and releases
food like omeletes better.
On Saturday, March 16, 2013 7:08:09 PM UTC-7, Daniel Prince wrote:
Consumer Reports' ratings of cookware sets, 6/2012:
Generally, Teflon coatings stick the least, while ceramic-based coatings ev
entually become somewhat sticky. And while you'd think ceramic coatings wo
uld be more durable, that's not always the case, as demonstrated by Earth P
an, which seems to vary all over in durability, depending on which version
it is. Teflon on stainless steel holds up better than Teflon on aluminum b
ut seems to be hard to find now.
More recently, Consumer Reports tested that green frying pan hawked in com
mericals and found that it was durable but eventually started to stick some
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