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Teflon causes Cancer....

Posted by Claire_de_Luna (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 6, 05 at 19:03

And this is suddenly news? Didn't we really know this a long time ago? Isn't anything that will kill small birds and animals at high heat suspect anyway?

I finally broke down and bought my first non-stick skillet last year, which I only use for slow-cooked eggs.

I'm just wondering...are any of you throwing out your non-stick pans yet?

This is why I've favored my cast iron pans...


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

I have 3 very nice non stick pans that I use for a variety of things. I'm not about to throw away my investment. I don't put any non stick in the oven nor do I cook at screaming hot temperatures. I'll continue to use mine with the same caution I always have. I love my cast iron too Claire de Luna.

Anyone else?


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

The issue is not this is new news, but rather that DuPont has known about it for years and did nothing about it.

However, Teflon itself is not carcinogenic. It's the PFOA used it the manufacture of Teflon that poses the danger, and it's the workers who are making Teflon, not home cooks, who are in danger.

Of course, Teflon is dangerous in the home if heated more than 350 or so, as it off-gasses very harmful fumes. That's why I use SS. But there are no problems for cooks using Teflon in the home, especially if they keep it away from the stove.


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

"Teflon causes Cancer"

There's no proof of this, based on reports I've heard. It was reported teflon showing in blood tests, but no relation between cancer and teflon has been proven...

TJ


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

Moreover, no one leaves this world alive. QED.


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

"there are no problems for cooks using Teflon in the home, especially if they keep it away from the stove."

Thanks, Spewey, for making me laugh! I guess you could use it for a birdbath instead.

Claire de Luna - I threw out my teflon skillet years ago and tried to learn to make eggs in stainless pans. Even with plenty of oil they still stuck. Finally I bought a Scanpan and I absolutely love it. Nothing sticks and it's still safe.


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

Another good alternative to Teflon for cooking eggs is well seasoned carbon steel. We bought our French omelet pan at a local restaurant supply house for less than $20.


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

I have refused to buy or own Teflon since my Mom got her first parrots in 1987. I cook eggs in lotsa bacon grease and they never stick :-) In fact, as much as people put down anodized Calphalon, hardly any of my food ever sticks. I don't use PAM either. I also don't use the new Teflon housecleaning sprays for your shower. I'm sure there's some Teflon products in my home, but show them to me, and I'll toss them.
Just my 2 cents.
Proudmama


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

Before saying teflon causes cancer, read some of the actual news articles...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8404384/


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Posted too soon...

"Isn't anything that will kill small birds and animals at high heat suspect anyway?"

A burning 2x4 can create enough combustion byproducts to kill an adult.

Do 2x4s cause cancer?

I have to admit, I take many news reports about things such as this with a HUGE grain of salt.

Remember the headlines some years ago "Aluminum Linked to Alzheimers!"

They gave the distinct impression that aluminum CAUSED Alzheimer's, sending many people into absolute panics. Every once in awhile here on the forums you'll see someone come up with "I never use aluminum, I'm afraid of Alzheimer's," or some such.

In fact, though, even when this was big news, there was no causal link established between aluminum and Alzheimers.

Scientists/researchs simply didn't know if the aluminum deposits they were finding in the brains of Alzheimers patients were the cause of the disease, a symptom of the disease, or pure random chance.

These days all of the research I've seen says that no, aluminum doesn't cause Alzheimer's.

My 2 cents.


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

I gave away my nonstick cookware when we got our parrot last year. There are many real stories of pet birds dying, and it happens very fast. It's so easy to overheat a pan. As for my own health, I'm probably going to get a brain tumor from the cell phone first!

I learned to cook in cast iron & now I prefer it.


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

I have four parrots, and gave away all my non-stick cookware when I learned that the fumes can kill them. No one knows the exact temperature, either. I decided that it wasn't worth the worry -- accidents happen, and my birds are very important to me.

I changed to a combination of le Creuset and stainless steel that works fine.


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

So which types of cookware are safe?
Stainless steel? Cast iron? What about "hard-anodized heavy gauge aluminum" (Pampered Chef)? Enamel coated cookware? Any others? I'm thinking about buying some new cookware and want to get what's safe and healthy.

Thanks.


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

Personally, I like cast iron, since you get residual iron from the pan you're cooking your food in. (I use to always be somewhat anemic, so this was good for me.) And, when a cast iron pan is well seasoned, it's virtually non-stick. A lot of people like enameled iron, and I've always thought stainless steel to be perfectly safe. That said, I do own one small non-stick skillet for eggs that I use on low temperatures, but my husband always grabs the cast iron.


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

My concern about Teflon, aside from the alleged health risks, is that the surface degrades quickly losing it's non-stick virtue and it scratches very easily as well. I don't like the idea of tiny flakes of Teflon in my food and I think in our "toss away" society with our already taxed landfills, that to purchase disposable cookware is environmentally irresponsible. Tossing out a completely good pan on the outside because the inside is no longer good, HELLO???


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

Uh-oh, I just bought (and love) my new Calphalon One pots and pans. These have the black, non-stick surfaces which I assume is Teflon. Am I now dooming my family to cancer? Here I was so excited to finally have a set of really good pans!!


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

Lucy,

You invested a bunch in those pans so I would just try to be careful about how I use them. If I were you, I would put away any metal spatulas, spoons or anything that could scratch the surface and invest in good wooden, nylon or silicone utensils. Also be careful never to heat the pan empty, always have liquid or something in the pan. I wouldn't use the pans for searing on high heat since doing so degrades the surface, instead buy another material like cast iron, or stainless for those particular jobs. I think until we know more, and if you are careful with the pans, they should be fine for you and your family.


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

I have this mental image of a bunch of people throwing out their teflon pans while a cigarette dangles from their lips...


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

While frying their eggs in pans of melted margerine.....


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

and talking on their cell phones!


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

I second the carbon steel. My favorite pan for eggs is a little, inexpensive carbon steel one. They don't stick at all with just the addition of thin film of oil in the pan. (cold oil on hot pan always helps, as well)


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

Regarding the mention of Scanpan, above, my impression is that Scanpan is simply Teflon protected by being in the microscopic crevices between a very hard titanium-ceramic material that forms tiny "mountains" that protect the Teflon. Can anyone tell me if that's correct or not? If so, I would expect that Scanpan would have the same issues as other Teflon cookware, except that it can better tolerate mechanical abuse from metal utensils and the like.


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

Solar,
Your impression is right. Scanpan does use polytetrafluoroethylene or Teflon in their non-stick line of cookware so yes, the issue of toxic fumes is still there if the pan is left on a burner and overheats. It does help that the surface is better protected and that the cookware is not "disposable" since they do come with a lifetime warranty. My personal thoughts (like anyone cares ;-) is non-stick surfaces can come in many ways, cast iron and carbon steel both can be seasoned black and be every bit as non-stick as Teflon without the dangerous fumes. It just makes sense to invest your money in good quality cookware that holds up to the test of time and doesn't carry a "dark cloud" around it.


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

Kimba,

Thanks for your answer!


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Calphalon One aren't teflon coated

Lucy,

Calphalon One are advertised as "non stick" but it's not coated in teflon. Calphalon describe their coating process:

"An advanced release polymer is infused in the skillet's surface, unlike nonstick coatings that sit on top of the metal, to minimize sticking and make cleanup easy."

Unlike teflon-coated pans, Calphalon are safe to use with metal utensils.

So you can rest easy on the teflon front.

On the down side, apparently they're not really non-stick, but rather, "stick resistant".


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

"An advanced release polymer...".

But it's not Teflon(R) brand PTFE...

I'm wondering if this is just a bunch of marketing-speak for, "Our XYZ(R) brand PTFE is better than your Teflon(R) brand PTFE."?


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

Did anyone catch Good Morning America? The Dupont employee was talking about the packaging that food products come in, which has levels of coating that comes off into the food, and is much higher than the FDA will allow. Which Dupont has known about for quite some time! 98% of the population has this in their blood. The product packaging they were showing included microwave popcorn, french fry containers, pizza boxes, pet food bags. Basically anything that would leave a grease spot!

Yep. It's a good case for feeding your dog raw food, cutting way back on grease, cooking at home and making friends with your cast iron pan...


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Teflon is hazardous!

Here's the story...

Here is a link that might be useful: Dupont Whistleblower


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

snopes on plastic wrap. There are some dangers, but apparently this has been really overblown, according to them. My conspiracy-minded brain is still suspicious...

Here is a link that might be useful: more about plastic wrap


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

I believe Teflon IS PTFE. I called Calphalon to ask about the polymer coating and they confirmed it was infused with PTFE. They also confirmed their coating is a form of Teflon. They are saying "unlike Teflon coated pans", but it doesn't mean theirs aren't Teflon infused, which they are!


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

I believe Teflon IS PTFE. I called Calphalon to ask about the polymer coating and they confirmed it was infused with PTFE. They also confirmed their coating is a form of Teflon. They are saying "unlike Teflon coated pans", but it doesn't mean theirs aren't Teflon infused, which they are!


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

Just ordered my first Lodge cast-iron skillet, from Amazon, to replace my teflon skillet.


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

Blondelle, there you go, abusing DuPont's trademark again! "Teflon" can only be used to refer to DuPont(R) Teflon(R) brand PTFE products. Calphalon has no Teflon(R) brand PTFE in their product. ;-)


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

Well, whatever it's called it's still the same PTFE. You are not getting away from it by using Calphalon products instead of Teflon branded products. PTFE, by any other name is still PTFE, with all it's inherent problems and concerns!


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

From American Council of Science and Health web site.

The Scare:
Public concern about trace levels of chemicals in human blood (usually only a few parts per billion) is not new.(110) In 2004, particular scrutiny was aimed at the presence of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in the environment and in human blood. PFOA is used in the production of consumer products such as Teflon and is also used in a variety of manufacturing, such as the automotive and aerospace industries. PFOA is sometimes referred to by the trade name C-8, a substance that contains a product of PFOA. In 2004, legal claims were brought against DuPont (the manufacturer of Teflon) regarding their reporting of information about PFOAs presence in water supplies and human blood and its ability to cross the placenta from mother to fetus. Related media reports indicated that DuPont had concealed evidence of PFOAs harmful effects, and some reports distorted the scientific evidence, indicating that low levels of PFOA have been conclusively found to be harmful to humans when they have not.

Where Did the Scare Come From?
In July 2004 (and again in December 2004), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claimed that DuPont was in violation of regulations requiring reporting of information about chemicals to the EPA.(111) The accusations charged that DuPont violated EPA regulations by not reporting the levels of PFOA found in some water supplies and not reporting that PFOA had been found to cross the placenta to the fetus of at least one DuPont worker in the 1980s. Additionally, in September 2004, DuPont settled a class action lawsuit regarding the release of PFOA into water supplies near factories. Claims regarding the harmful effects of PFOA are based on studies of rats with very high exposures to the substance.(112)

The Media Coverage:
While the issues involving PFOA revolved around legal requirements to report information about PFOAs presencenot scientific evidence that PFOA caused harm in humanssome media coverage indicated that these legal actions showed that PFOA was harmful or that evidence indicating its harm had been suppressed. For example, one headline claimed "EPA says DuPont withheld chemical's danger; The company knew for 20 years that the substance used to make Teflon posed a risk to its workers and the public, the agency charges."(113) Regarding the scientific studies of PFOA, one article mentioned the Environmental Working Groups claim that, "Among the more troubling topics are evidence of elevated levels of liver enzymes, prostate cancer, and reproductive problemsand that some of the liver problems were present no matter how low the level of C-8 in the blood."(114)

Concern about the health effects of PFOA, which is used in manufacturing Teflon, also became conflated with concern about the use of Teflon products themselves. A report on ABCs 20/20 in November 2003 set the stage for panic about using Teflon products; in its discussion of the "dangers of Teflon," it spoke about potential harm by PFOA as if it was evidence that Teflon itself posed a danger (it also muddled the issue by discussing allegations of the harm from fumes from overheated Teflon).(115) One article in 2004 advised readers to "phase out [their] use of Teflon pans" as they contain substances that are "highly toxic and can cause birth defects and several types of cancer."(116)
The Bottom Line:
The controversy regarding PFOA resulted from DuPonts legal requirement to report the presence of PFOA. Misreporting of PFOAs presence does not, however, translate into scientific evidence that PFOA causes harm to humans. As previously mentioned, some studies of the administration of high levels of PFOA to rats have shown that the animals experience adverse effects. However, the EPA has estimated that the margin of safety between blood levels of PFOA in the general human population and the blood levels of PFOA in affected rats is about 100-10,000.(117) Therefore, it is untrue that there is no safe level of PFOA in humans. Furthermore, studies of workers who were occupationally exposed to high levels of PFOA have not found adverse effects.(118) The recent data interpreted as indicating elevated human cancer rates due to PFOA were prepared for support of litigation and were not published or peer-reviewed.(119) Additionally, it must be made clear that while PFOA is used in manufacturing Teflon, the final consumer product does not contain PFOA. While the EPAs current investigation of PFOA may be helpful in enhancing understanding of PFOAs behavior in humans, based on current evidence, it is very unlikely there is any risk of human harm from PFOA (particularly in the amounts to which most people are typically exposed).


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

Just crisped my empty Caphalon skillet on the wrong burner this morning, and found this post that made me feel better that I didn't poison my rabbits and me!


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

When I was very young, I worked at the plant that makes those bundt pans. I worked on the Teflon line. It was in the air and got in everyone's lungs. I quit when I started coughing up black teflon. I have had problems my entire life with my respiratory system. Of course smoking has absolutely NOTHING to do with it.


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

I heard teflon causes Alzheimer's disease. Anybody else hear about this one?


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

Tantadoodles,

That scare went was linked to aluminum and was later proven false.

Here is a great little website for getting good truthful and unbiased information.

Here is a link that might be useful: Go Ask Alice Teflon.


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

Hampton,

Inhalation of any particulate material can cause problems, even completely inert ones.

For example, quartz dust. Completely chemically inert, but will scar the living hell out of the lungs and cause silicosis.


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

More on teflon....

Here is a link that might be useful: more on teflon


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

What a load of hooey. EPA wanted a little budget boost and fined the hell out of a company based on unsupported "evidence" and the word of a couple of disgruntled employees. EPA is notorious for taking action based on non-science.


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

aliceinwonderland, have you gone thru the looking glass? On what do you base your accusations against EPA? Do you, by any chance, own a lot of stock in Dupont? I don't think EPA ever acts merely on the "word of a couple disgruntled employees." If anything, they're often a bit slow to react to these kinds of problems.


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

I love my little cast iron fry pan (just small enough to fit 2 eggs)... after seasoning it, the cast iron is almost stick-proof... just make sure you heat your oil/butter so that it's hot before you add your eggs.


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

...so does well-seasoned cast iron, esp. if seasoned with lard or veg. shortening.


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

...so to avoid the coming possibility that teflon, under the the right circumstances, causes cancer... we are going to use "old fashioned" pans and avoid the sticking problem by cooking the food in bacon grease, lard, piles of butter or aerosol spray. sounds much healthier!!

imma gonna go finish off my vodka while i read up more on this.


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RE: Teflon causes Cancer....

To have an actual fear of modern day cookware is absolutely ridiculous. Today, fear mongering lives on and on and on in our society......especially in the minds of so many under educated Eco-nuts. Teflon causes as much cancer in humans as does mother's breast milk. Better watch out for that aluminum too.....ooooooohhh. That aluminum bogey man is gonna get ya if big bad Teflon doesn't!!

Wait around long enough and you will see Al Gore pushing some "green" pots and pans.......and people throwing out perfectly good cookware to buy his product.

Dan
Semper Fi-cus


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