For Claire_de_Luna re: Teflon

rosieoFebruary 7, 2006

I got this email today from and thought you might find it interesting:

EPA Calls For Teflon Chemical Ban

The EPA has asked eight manufacturers to cease production of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a suspected carcinogen used in the making of Teflon. The manufacturers have been requested to reduce PFOA production 95 percent by 2010, and stop using it altogether by 2015.

In Most People's Blood

PFOA is currently used to make water- and grease-proof products, including microwave popcorn bags, non-stick cookware, and upholstery. It is found in the blood of upwards of 95 percent of Americans, and it has been linked to cancer in animal studies.


DuPont, which has announced it will comply with the voluntary guidelines, has been the focus of the investigations into the risks of PFOA. The company has paid over $16 million for fines and other payments in the wake of charges that it had hidden information about the dangers of PFOA.

USA Today January 26, 2006


Dr. Mercola's Comment:

Considering all the bad news stemming from DuPont's negligent behavior regarding PFOA, this sounds like a great idea, right?

But, here's the catch: This cutback is completely voluntary, according to the Environmental Working Group, because the Toxic Substances Control Ban doesn't give the EPA the authority to enact a ban.

Hard to believe a chemical flowing through the bloodstreams of nearly every U.S. citizen and tied to so many common household products can't be legally banned by a federal agency like the EPA, but it's true.

Of course, there are less toxic alternatives, including a similar chemical made of four carbon atoms instead of the eight found in PFOA, that don't accumulate in your body under consideration. Of course, manufacturers like DuPont could have switched to those alternatives long ago -- but they didn't, being as usual more concerned with their profit than your well-being.

Even if PFOA is phased out over the course of a decade, you need to take the situation into your own hands. The first step is to toss out every pan in your house that has Teflon on it. The moment you heat the pan it starts to vaporize and this toxic chemical will go into your bloodstream.

Last year one of our columnists, Gary Craig, posted his story of relieving a long standing health challenge which resolved nearly immediately after he threw out his Teflon pans. His story results in many dozens of others who wrote us of similar stories.

I know it is hard to believe, but it is true. It took me a few years to become convinced, but once you are aware of this truth you simply have no logical choice but to throw those pans out and never buy another one.

Do not leave them in your home or you will be tempted to use them. Please believe me; I am absolutely convinced they are very dangerous and you should not be exchanging the convenience for the health damage.

For the sake of your health and that of your family, you should enact a Teflon ban in your home on both cookware and contaminated paper products such as the paper bags of microwave popcorn you thought were safe.

Here is a link that might be useful: teflon article

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Last year one of our columnists, Gary Craig, posted his story of relieving a long standing health challenge which resolved nearly immediately after he threw out his Teflon pans. His story results in many dozens of others who wrote us of similar stories.

So, this guy gets "cured" the minute he throws out his Teflon pans, huh? Doesn't that sound completely RIDICULOUS to you?

Anyway, here's what a chemistry professor has to say about Teflon:

From the current online edition of The Washington Post (you'll probably need to register to read the articles, that's why I'm pasting it here - if you want to see the original article click the link below)

Don't Toss That Teflon Pan -- Yet

By Robert L. Wolke
Special to The Washington Post
Wednesday, February 1, 2006; F01

Last week's news about U.S. manufacturers' gradual elimination of a certain chemical from their factory emissions and products with nonstick coating caused home cooks to look askance at some of their kitchen equipment. We asked "Food 101" columnist and chemistry professor Robert L. Wolke for his take on the matter.

Maybe it's a sign of our times, but who would have expected stories about a chemical compound called perfluorooctanoic acid to strike fear in the hearts of cooks?

But the recent news led one authority to say, "I certainly wouldn't use a Teflon fry pan."

What's the connection?

PFOA is used in the manufacture of fluorine-containing polymers, materials such as Teflon that repel water and resist staining by oil and grease. In addition to nonstick cooking surfaces, consumer applications include microwave popcorn bags and pizza delivery boxes.

Although many chemists would be hard-pressed to tell you exactly what PFOA is, it hit the front page of The Post and other newspapers around the world Thursday, after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency asked eight U.S. chemical companies to substantially reduce and eventually eliminate the chemical from its products and plant emissions. They agreed to do so.

Why? Because PFOA -- a synthetic industrial chemical that as far as we know does not exist in nature -- is, according to the EPA, "very persistent in the environment, [has been] found at very low levels both in the environment and in the blood of the general U.S. population, and [has] caused developmental and other adverse effects in laboratory animals." Although research on the environmental and health implications of PFOA has been fragmentary and no correlation between PFOA exposure and human cancer has been found, calls are being made in the United States and as far away as Australia to ban the chemical entirely.

Most nonstick cooking surfaces are made of Teflon, or polytetrafluoroethylene. And PFOA is one of the intermediate chemicals used in the chain of chemical-reaction steps that produce it. But the PFOA is virtually all gone before the final material comes off the production line. Intermediate chemicals of one kind or another are part of virtually all chemical manufacturing processes and are not allowed to contaminate the final product.

Teflon is microscopically smooth and nonporous (one of the reasons nothing sticks to it). Even if it does harbor trace amounts of PFOA, which is all anyone has suggested, the PFOA is unlikely to seep into food or escape into the air in kitchens -- unless, of course, an empty nonstick pan were abandoned on a hot burner, because above 600 degrees or so (a temperature rarely reached in cooking), the Teflon would begin to decompose into toxic fumes.

Before we even see a nonstick pan in the store, its coating already has been heated to high temperatures during manufacturing, partly to get rid of any residual PFOA. In my opinion, PFOA in the environment probably came from factory emissions, perhaps during the high-temperature phases of manufacturing. That's certainly more plausible than blaming me for frying an egg in my nonstick pan.

Susan B. Hazen, acting assistant administrator of the EPA's Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, has been quoted as saying, "The science is still coming in." But she adds that eliminating PFOA "is the right thing to do for our health and our environment."

So should we throw away all our nonstick cookware, eschew microwaved popcorn and stop ordering delivery pizza? Some historical parallels exist. On the theory that the mercury in silver-amalgam tooth fillings causes an array of illnesses, some people have had all their fillings removed. And believing that aluminum causes Alzheimer's disease, some people have thrown away all their aluminum pots and pans. If we also throw away our nonstick pots and pans, how are we ever going to cook food to be chewed by our mercury-free teeth?

I quote from the EPA's Web page ( ): "At present, there are no steps that EPA recommends that consumers take to reduce exposures to PFOA because the sources of PFOA in the environment and the pathways by which people are exposed are not known. Given the scientific uncertainties, EPA has not yet made a determination as to whether PFOA poses an unreasonable risk to the public. At the present time, EPA does not believe there is any reason for consumers to stop using any consumer or industrial related products that contain PFOA."

So please excuse me while I go fry an egg in my Teflon pan.

2006 The Washington Post Company

    Bookmark   February 7, 2006 at 11:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

rosieo, Interesting article. The news to me is that the EPA has called for ban. I'm probably more concerned for people who work in Dupont's plants (considering the fact that they didn't want to come clean about the dangers of PFOA), although anything we can do to become informed consumers can't hurt. That said, there doesn't seem to be much that won't kill us these days!

And yes, mercedes, your article also makes some valid points. On the other hand, the general public typically doesn't follow instructions; they will overheat their nonstick pans, or use metal utensils on them marring the smooth surface. (I also do not cook in aluminum, do not have silver fillings and drink purified water, prefer organic meat, fruit and vegetables.) If we did follow instructions, we wouldn't ruin our hearing by listening to our PDA's too loudly, or keep from getting fat by going to McDonalds to ''supersize''. Instead, the general public seems to think it's solely the responsibility of companies offering those products/services to do it for us, instead of taking responsiblity for ourselves. When a product seems to be in virtually everything however, it's no longer a choice but a matter of public concern.

As far as "how are we ever going to cook food to be chewed by our mercury-free teeth?" Two words...Cast iron. Also a non-stick surface when well-seasoned, cast iron can be subjected to high heat whether it's on top of the stove or in the oven.

Really...It's all about moderation. Whether it's teflon or transfats, we do have choices. Information is power!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2006 at 12:15PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
White film/Oxidation on Wusthof Handles
I recently bought a set of Wusthof Classic Ikon knives...
tea kettles
Hi - does anyone know of a whistling tea kettle that...
Kitchen Selective food slicer
Would anyone know of source for parts for Kitchen Selective...
Kitchenaid Stand Mixer
I have read threads in here from people who love their...
Club cast aluminum still made?
I am new to the list, so forgive me if this subject...
Sponsored Products
Orion Dining Table
| Dot & Bo
Justice Design Group GLA-8703 - Aero 3 Light Bath Bar - Cylinder with Rippled Ri
$420.00 | Hayneedle
Justice Design Group POR-8924 - Modular 4 Light Bath Bar - Square Flared Shade -
$398.00 | Hayneedle
5-Pc. Cali Shore Coaster Set
$22.99 | Dot & Bo
Vermeer Chrome Six-Light Island Pendant with Swarovski Elements Crystal
Illumine Lamps 62.75 in. Polished Steel Floor Lamp CLI-LS447627
$78.40 | Home Depot
British Colonial Pineapple Outdoor Side Table Cover
$39.50 | FRONTGATE
Illumine Lamps 26 in. Bronze Table Lamp with White Fabric Shade CLI-LS-22035
Home Depot
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™