Teflon is not a chemical. It is a brand name for an artificial chemical called Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), a polymer used for kitchen cookware and other nonstick applications.
It is a perfluorinated compound (PFC) type. PFC is a family of fluorine-containing chemicals with unique properties for making materials resistant to stains and sticking. When the manufacturing process occurs, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) bonds PTFE coating to pans and pots, making them non-stick.
The major Teflon products are waterproof clothing and furniture, microwave popcorn bags, and self-cleaning ovens. Also, they are available in pizza boxes, nonstick pans, and pots.
What Is A Bad Ingredient In Teflon?
Teflon is made with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). This is a hormone disruptor, reproductive toxin, and suspected carcinogen. Besides, it is highly persistent. This means when it enters the environmental exposure, it does not leave.
Even though people say that most carcinogenic chemicals are removed in manufacturing, some small amounts remain. If you overheat the Teflon, these chemicals can enter the food you are cooking and affect human health.
This is a familiar toxin to birds. It is why many Teflon products warn to eliminate any bird from the room when being heated. When exposed to overheated Teflon, you are likely to develop harmful effects such as flu-like symptoms.
Can You Avoid Teflon Products?
You can avoid using Teflon products by not buying new pans and pots with traditional nonstick coatings. In addition, you can do away with any traditional pans whose layer is wearing or peeling.
Another way to avoid Teflon products is by not getting close to synthetic nonstick surfaces even beyond the Teflon brands.
Why You Should Not Use Teflon?
Teflon has been in use for many years. But, its manufacturers recommend not to heat the cookware to too high temperatures.
They claim that nonstick coating cooking pans and other products do not produce hazardous chemicals in normal use.
For example, in 2-5 minutes of normal stovetop use, the coating breaks down and releases harmful chemicals into your kitchen.
Another concern is that PTFE particles can flake off. Nevertheless, it is said that it does not cause harm once ingested because the chemical is inert in a firm form.
As we said before, the fumes from nonstick cookware are toxic to birds. When exposed to humans, these same fumes can cause polymer fume fever.
It is categorized by flu-like symptoms, including chills, coughing, fever, chest tightness, and headaches. These side effects develop after a few hours of exposure. Hence, people do not connect between the cause and effects.
Hopefully, you can now tell what products still contain Teflon. From the guide above, Teflon is available in pizza boxes, microwave popcorn bags, and self-cleaning ovens.
Furthermore, you can find Teflon in waterproof furniture and clothing, nonstick pans, and pots. Because Teflon is dangerous to health and the environment for producing toxic chemicals, it is advisable not to use the products.
But if you have not otherwise, you can use them without much heat. Take your time to see what suits you best.