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Danger from overheated Teflon?

 
 
Reply Wed 25 Jan, 2006 10:32 am
I mistakenly turned a stove burner on "High" under a Teflon-coated saucepan, thinking it was filled with water. (Maybe Teflon II--smooth black stuff) After 5 minutes or so, fumes drew me back to the scene. The pan was empty. After cooling, the pan and its coating seemed OK, except that a few pinhead size flecks came off the bottom surface.

My questions:

1. Were the fumes potentially dangerous? Should one open a window after Vulcanizing <g> Teflon?

2. Should I use the pan anymore? What dangers, if any, might endure?

Thanks.

Sally
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 15,554 • Replies: 38
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Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jan, 2006 10:37 am
Do not use Teflon cookware. It comes off on your food and is basically a poison. You can find more info here:
http://www.mercola.com/2005/feb/2/teflon.htm
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jan, 2006 10:38 am
one comment. I have a parrot. Overheated teflon produces a gas which kills parrots. (so I'm told by my vet)
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Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jan, 2006 01:48 pm
Help!

What can I do about bread makers and rice cookers which always seem to come with a no stick tub?
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jan, 2006 04:23 pm
Chumly wrote:
Help!

What can I do about bread makers and rice cookers which always seem to come with a no stick tub?


Use them and be happy. Almost none of the perfluorooctanoic acid found in humans comes from cookware.

The same chemical is used as a treatment on food packaging (it stops grease and oils from seeping through the packaging) and THAT is the source for over 99.9% of the perfluorooctanoic acid found in people. the odds are you are putting more perfluorooctanoic acid INTO (or onto..) your cookware than you are ever taking out of it.

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/10082924
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jan, 2006 04:48 pm
They're testing teflon as a blood replacement. Hardly a poison.
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Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jan, 2006 05:13 pm
DD - I was warned about the dangers of Teflon 10 years ago by a retired chemist who worked his entire life at Dupont. He felt the product proved unsafe and should have been withdrawn from the market. He had nothing to gain by stating this. I suggest you check out the recent studies before you cook an egg on a Teflon pan for that cute little avatar.
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jan, 2006 06:05 pm
Speaking of Teflon...

Idea
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SallyMander
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jan, 2006 11:18 pm
Thanks!
Thank you both! Yes, time to get rid of the Teflon. I respect Dr. Mercola, and I'm definitely a bird lover and aware of the days when they kept canaries in mines. (Do they still?)

Much appreciated.

Sally
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Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Jan, 2006 10:50 am
I don't use much (if at all) of the packaging that appears (so say some) to be the major source of perfluorooctanoic acid.

I stick to unprepared non-packaged foodstuffs for the most part, but I do eat a lot of bread and rice from the Teflon coated bread and rice cookers.

Anyone seen any of these cookers without the no-stick lining?
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Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Jan, 2006 10:56 am
Re: Thanks!
The real problem I see with perfluorooctanoic acid is not at what point (if at all) it becomes a health hazard, but the fact that it is rather unpredictable what the long term negative health aspects will be with perfluorooctanoic acid in combinations with the 1000's of other so-called "safe" chemicals that are now part of our immedeate environment.
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AliceInWonderland
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2006 05:33 pm
Okay, Teflon is PolyTetraFluoroEthylene (PTFE). Perfluorooctanoic acid is used to make it. PTFE is a polymerized product and does not break down until it reaches 400 degrees F and is nearly impervious to everything. So, if you way overheat your pan, a small portion of the PTFE could break down, but in very small quantities and the perfluorooctanoic acid can be simply washed away, but you will likely have disturbed the mechanical bond between the pan's metal and the PTFE so it won't remain non-stick for long. No worries with bread machines and rice cookers - teflon surface doesn't get hot enough to break down.
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Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2006 08:12 pm
OK but what about the scratches that cause flakes to come off?

And what of the bio-chemical interactions in the body with the 1000's of other "safe" compounds we absorb?

How do we know that stomach acids and other processes cannot break down PTFE?

How do we know the true long term bio-chemical effects of PTFE even if does not break down until it reaches 400 degrees F?

There are many rather difficult to break down materials that have been shown to be a hazard on their own, and I am talking about 100's of thousands of potential interactions!
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AliceInWonderland
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 09:03 am
Good questions. PTFE is used as pipe-material and valve material in industrial plants where they need to pipe extremely corrosize materials that are WAY worse than simple stomach acid - things like aqua reagia (sulfuric/hydrochloric acids combined at high concentrations), hydrofluoric acid, phosphoric acid and worse). It is used because it does not degrade, even after years of use and the fluids flowing though it stay pure because they don't dissolve the pipe material. It just doesn't reacte chemically so you don't have interactions. Now, it can be softened, by strong solvents (and not very many of those), but if you have enough solvent in your system, you've got much bigger problems.

This is just so much hysteria over nothing. Sure anything can kill you if you get enough of it - even water. There is nothing in this world that cannot kill you. Organic broccoli, for instance, contains many, many known carcinogens, yet the totallity of broccoli is good for you, even touted to fight cancer. Aluminum, stainless, copper, ceramic, cast iron - you will find something that will kill or injure you in every one of them, but you've gotta eat. So, pick you poison and be scare a lot, or realize that, aside from the extremely small portion of the population that is sensitive to certain materials, you have nothing to fear from your cookwear.
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Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 09:12 am
Thanks for the info. Alice, but I ain't cooking my organic broccoli in no stinkin' teflon. Of course you are welcome to use the pans for you and your loved ones. I also do not use aluminum, but that would be a whole new thread.
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Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 11:03 am
AliceInWonderland

Thanks for the really great info,

I am not a hyper-paranoid-food-extremist, so your points are well taken. The thing that tips the scales for me, is that I have had digestive problems for years and no doctor has ever been able to pin point the problem, so I stick to a really bland really clean diet, and all seems well.

So I have a heightened sense of concern (rightly or wrongly) when it comes to foods.
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 04:11 pm
Green Witch wrote:
Thanks for the info. Alice, but I ain't cooking my organic broccoli in no stinkin' teflon.


To funny! I may have to put that as a quote in my sig line. Very Happy
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babsatamelia
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Feb, 2006 06:20 am
WOW Shocked Thanks for the heads up regarding the dangers of
Teflon coated cookware. One of my daughters was dear enough
to give me a set of stainless steel copper bottom pots 'n pans for
Christmas about 10 years ago, and I love it. Food doesn't stick
to it. In fact the most difficult aspect is keeping the copper clean
and shiny....now that is tough. Since I don't ever fry eggs
nor do I ever fry anything anymore, now that I think about it. I
guess I'm a more fortunate person than I realized.
I do remember having teflon coated frying pans long ago.
And whenever my "healthy, healthy, macrobiotic cooking friend"
came for dinner - she would faithfully bring her own pans to use
for ALL cooking ... not to mention stuff like tofu, ginger, green
sheets of stuff (made of seaweed, I bet) like they use to wrap
some kinds of sushi in.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Feb, 2006 12:24 pm
babsatamelia wrote:
WOW Shocked Thanks for the heads up regarding the dangers of
Teflon coated cookware.


There is no documented danger at all. If you choose not to cook on it fine, but don't go around telling people it is dangerous.

Stats.org on Teflon
And another article
From the Washington Post

A nice quote from Stats.org...

Quote:
Based on the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control, we can expect some 680,000 people to die from heart disease in the United States in 2006. Cancer will claim around 550,000 lives; stroke, 150,000; chronic lower respiratory diseases, 120,000; diabetes, 70,000, influenza and pneumonia, 65,000; liver disease and cirrhosis 27,000. Many more people will die of other illnesses, and many more still will succumb to life-threatening diseases. What is unlikely - so highly unlikely as to be incredibly unlikely - is that anyone will suffer any ill effects from being exposed to Perflurooctanoic Acid (PFOA).
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SallyMander
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 May, 2006 11:57 pm
Quote:
Okay, Teflon is PolyTetraFluoroEthylene (PTFE). Perfluorooctanoic acid is used to make it. PTFE is a polymerized product and does not break down until it reaches 400 degrees F and is nearly impervious to everything. So, if you way overheat your pan, a small portion of the PTFE could break down, but in very small quantities and the perfluorooctanoic acid can be simply washed away...


How cool is that, Alice, hun! Thanks. And I do find the Chumley-Alice talk kind of a turn on--all those technical terms. :wink:

I don't know if my pan reached 400 F in past range-top "high-instead-of-off" episodes, but I suspect I've done it enough times the PFTE has lost its moxy. Nonetheless, if I didn't die on the spot--how would anyone know months or years later that I croaked from intermittent exposure to poison Teflon gasses?

-Sal
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