Teflon is only a Little Toxic

Those of us born in the late 1960s and 1970s will still remember how amazing the new non-stick cookware seemed; they were great! The first non-stick pan to be commercially available was actually Tefal, but it was made from material (not a chemical) manufactured by DuPont called Teflon, which is what most people (erroneously) call non-stick cookware. In industrial lingo, Teflon is known as polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE.

Teflon was originally used for military purposes, but by the 190s DuPont was using it in cookie and bread making, but not yet in cooking pans because it knew that at certain temperatures the material exudates induced flu-like symptoms in enclosed spaces. But they didn’t tell anyone that, and that’s where the eggs stick. There were numerous claims that overheated Teflon poses a health risk to consumers despite lack of any definitive studies supporting this claim, and that DuPont knew and failed to give warning about these dangers. DuPont chose to settle these claims out of court to avoid costly litigation.

But that’s not the end of the story.

Non-stick cookware is everywhere, and as we stated earlier studies show that the cookware themselves are not proven to be toxic when it is used properly. However, to produce Teflon and other fluoropolymers, it requires the use of a synthetic chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA (aka C8). PFOA is not actually present in the cookware, but it has been detected in the water and environment with the heaviest concentrations in areas surrounding DuPont manufacturing plants such as the one in Old Hickory in Nashville. The company has been subject to litigation claiming toxic exposure through PFOA that has made its way to the groundwater.

PFOA is incredibly persistent in the body and environment, resistant to most methods of degradation so that it will likely be around for many years and even passed on to offspring. It is indicated that PFOA increases the risk of certain types of cancer in the industrial setting, but other health effects such as high incidence of birth defects, infertility and thyroid disease have yet to be substantiated.

If you suspect that your illness is due to PFOA or Teflon exposure, you should not wait for these studies to be concluded as they can take years. File a claim against DuPont or other responsible third parties for compensation with the help of a toxic exposure lawyer to at least put it on the record.

One Response to “Teflon is only a Little Toxic”

  1. I really love this style of blog, thanks for writing.

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