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TEFLON is a hazard?


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==== Brief introduction


PFOA is believed to be in the blood of virtually every living creature on the planet. ...including 99% of humans.


Teflon is a plastic that is mainly talked about in terms of its harmfulness. Apparently, the heated coating of this material emits poisonous fumes, and scratched Teflon pan is carcinogenic. Meanwhile, the daily use of Teflon is completely safe.


According to DuPont's research, poisonous particles are released at 240 degrees Celsius and at 360 degrees toxic and carcinogenic gases are released from Teflon-coated cookware.


Teflon pans are very cheap. However, be careful when choosing the cheapest pan of this type not to buy a pan with coating imitating Teflon and having in its composition harmful to health substances. Mistake is unfortunately easy, so it is worth choosing accessories from proven and recognized by consumers manufacturers.


==== When is Teflon harmful?

Teflon is harmful when it gets too hot. Teflon begins to decompose at a temperature of 320-360 ° C, from a pan or sheet covered with Teflon are released poisonous, carcinogenic gases.

Opponents of Teflon stress that it is difficult to assess in the kitchen, what exactly temperature we are dealing with. Dishes with Teflon coating begin to emit harmful substances above 270 degrees C, and the maximum frying temperature is 250 degrees C - counterargument supporters of Teflon. It is possible to achieve even 300 - 500 degrees C, but here - as explained by the supporters of Teflon - prepared food at this temperature and so will not be fit for consumption.


==== Teflon pans - pros and cons.

Teflon frying pan advantages:
compared to many other pans on the market, Teflon pans are the cheapest,
good quality Teflon allows you to fry food without much fat,
Teflon frying pan heats up quickly,
food does not stick to the surface.


Disadvantages of Teflon frying pan:
the biggest disadvantage of Teflon frying pan is that it is very delicate - during frying you need to be careful not to scratch it, so it is discouraged to use sharp metal accessories on it, the best in this case will be utensils made of wood.
Any scratches have a negative impact on health, substances harmful to our body may get into the food,
Such pans also cannot be washed in a dishwasher - they should be cleaned manually with the use of delicate sponges and dishwashing liquid.


==== Granite Pans.

(made from a granite block from the Chernobyl power plant - just kidding xd)

Advantages of granite pans:
granite coating prevents food from sticking to the surface,
is very durable and more scratch resistant than Teflon,
is safe for health,
reduces fat,
can be used not only on different types of stoves, but also in the oven,
has an interesting design.


Disadvantages of granite pans:
granite pans are a slightly more expensive proposition,
they are also much heavier than, for example, Teflon pans,
It is also said that granite pans should not be overheated, so when frying it is good to use a temperature gauge to control the temperature.


==== Where can PFOA be found?

Teflon-coated frying pans, pots and irons
Baking trays
Pizza and other fast food boxes
Microwaveable popcorn bags
Disposable paper plates (PFOA prevents leaking)
windshield wipers
computer mice
Waterproof clothing (a good example would be waterproof Gore-Tex)
Sofa and chair upholstery (PFOA makes them more stain-resistant)
dental floss




materials, objects and coatings of objects and elements of devices operating at high temperatures and in contact with aggressive chemicals - chemical apparatus, kitchen utensils, fire-fighting clothes (gas-tight)
coatings and hydrophobic materials (e.g. Gore-Tex fabric)
lubricant component
materials, equipment components and slip coatings (e.g. bullets for small arms)
sealing materials (threads, tapes)
implants, earrings and similar items in permanent contact with tissues
glass-fibre based composite heat-resistant transmission belts


==== Summary

Nonstick cookware is found in many kitchens around the world. The nonstick coating is made from a chemical called PTFE, also known as Teflon, which makes cooking and washing quick and easy. Health agencies have raised concerns about the compound PFOA, which was previously used to make Teflon. However, Teflon has been PFOA-free since 2013.

Today's non-stick and Teflon cookware is perfectly safe for normal home cooking as long as it does not exceed 300°C .

So you can use non-stick cookware for stovetop cooking at low or medium heat, but don't use it at maximum heat or for grilling.

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Nice write up, I am also concerned about health effects of nonstick coatings.  I gave up Teflon about a decade ago, used ceramic for long time, but last year got rid of it too as it has its own concerns with chipping & longevity. The reason I gave up Teflon was the coating PFOA.  It was banned in 2014 in the States and many other countries in 2019.  It was linked to several cancers & low birth weight during pregnancy.  They replaced it with Teflon alternatives GenX (Dupont) and PFBS.  Lab results in mice have been less than stellar with the new compounds, so I still will not use as a daily pan.


My current “go to” pan is a 3 layer Stainless Steel pan (5 layers best, but it was expensive), my secondary pan is a cast iron skillet.   The most common complaint with these style pans is they are harder to clean, hence why everyone loves Teflon.  While that is true, it’s only minor & if you weigh the health risks it’s worth the small extra effort.

For my ‘go to’ SS pan, its two fold on cleaning; 1) don’t be skimpy on the cooking oil/ghee and 2) don’t be afraid to let it sit in soapy water for ½ hour before cleaning with a sponge/nylon brush.   Trust me any crud will come right off after soaking.  I have been using the same SS pan for over a year, 5 – 7 days a week with no major cleaning issues.


For Cast Iron, I use it about 1-2 times a week and it does take more effort than the SS pan.  It is super important to cook with enough oil/ghee.  Generally I let it soak for about 30 minutes and use a stainless steel chainlink scrubber (SS316 grade, don’t bother with SS304).  If needed add salt like coarse kosher salt can be used as a scrubbing agent with the SS chainlink.  As cast iron tends to rust, it is important that after washing, it be thoroughly dried; I usually put it on a burner for a few minutes and let heat evaporate the condensation.   It is also is opportunity to add extra oil/grease to seasoning it more.


I have not tried cooking on granite pans, I do know that many common inexpensive ones are sneaky and have a nonstick mineral coating that is really PTFE (Teflon).  I remember reading somewhere that if your pan can’t handle temps above 260C/500F it is probably coating is some sort of Teflon, because that’s the temp that Teflon starts to break down and out gas fumes. 

Edited by Blunt
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When was PFOA banned?
Two of the most common types (PFOS and PFOA) were phased out of production in the United States (US) in 2002 and 2015 respectively, but are still present in some imported products


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  • 2 years later...

Cast iron or carbon steel pans. The are heavy which is great for frying as they don't drop temperature while frying steak for example. You just need to "season" them (super easy) before using to create non stick layer on a top. Then it's super easy to use it, keep it non stick and wash, fried eggs without sticking etc. It costs slightly more but they will stay for life (and I mean for life) if you wash them properly (no dishwasher or chemicals). Many people buy teflon just cos of non-stick and price. Not knowing about "seasoning" or if they heard it it might sound to them as something difficult to do. 

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