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What are the dangers of Teflon pans when cooking?

Is Teflon pans dangerous to use when Cooking?


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Teflon is a material being used by the DuPont Company for their pans and many other cooking wares. Despite of the petitions of the company saying that Teflon is safe to use as long as users follow the prescribe way of using the pan, Teflon still poses a threat to both the environment and health.

Teflon is a perflourinated chemical that is often found in packaging materials for nonstick containers as well as in carpets and furniture. This type of chemical also include flourotelomers which when enters into the bloodstream, doesn’t breakdown, but instead, stays in that chemical composition which poses a large health risk for people. This can cause “Teflon flu” or “polymer fume flu” with symptoms similar to a common flu. Unfortunately, there are more serious health risks a person may encounter if he or she is exposed to Teflon fumes. Studies found that these chemicals can cause cancer as well as birth defects if a pregnant mother is exposed to it. Aside from health problems, the fumes being released poses a great threat to the environment.

Overheated pans that contain Teflon would cause its fuse to be released wherein the person using it can inhale the toxic fumes. According manufacturer of DuPont Teflon pans, the products are very safe to use as long as the people follows the prescribed temperature and usage of the pans. No pre-heating should be done and the pans should be heated at a medium heat. Unfortunately, these kinds of cooking pans can be heated easily and can reach maximum temperatures that will cause the chemicals to breakdown and be released into the environment.

Because of such issue, DuPont faces legal actions from the Environment Working Group or EWG in cooperation with the Environmental Protection Agency due to the harm Teflon poses to its workers. There have been research wherein they found out that factory workers of this company have been exposed to the dangers of the chemicals wherein the company has failed to report about such dangers. There are workers who have Teflon chemical traces in their bloodstream as well as pregnant mothers whose fetuses show traces of the chemical.

Instead of using nonstick pans with Teflon, an alternative and safe to use materials are cookware made from porcelain or enamel as well as aluminum or cast iron. You may need a little bit of cooking oil to prevent food from sticking to it but you won’t face the dangers of Teflon.

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