Updated on March 6, 2023
Do you know that Teflon is banned all over America? Teflon is widely used in different households and other products. For example, NASA space programs use Teflon in crafts and clothes. But the question arises: is Teflon poisonous? Europe banned Teflon in 2008 but the USA allowed the production of PFOA till 2013. Over time researchers cleared that Teflon contains a toxic chemical PFOA which affects your blood vessels and kidneys and then the US government banned it.
Brands used Teflon because it is extremely heat resistant, has high abrasion resistance, and has amazing dimensional stability. Plus, Teflon products are easy to wash and do not require extra care. That is why Teflon ruled over the market for many years in the past but it is banned in different parts of the planet.
Is Teflon Banned
In 1938 an American chemist Roy Plunkett discovered Teflon. It was developed to replace less desirable refrigerants but today it is used in so many products such as waterproof fabric, anti-friction devices, or non-stick cookware. It is a type of plastic that is sprayed on the surface of an object to create a barrier between the element and the product.
Teflon plays a vital role in the finishing of cookware such as saucepans and frying pans. It is a chemical made of fluorine atoms and carbon. Yes, this amalgamation is highly toxic and can cause major health risks. The Teflon contains PFOA is a highly hazardous element but there is a piece of good news today all the cookwares are PFOA free.
Teflon cookware is helpful and provides an efficient job. These pans provide quick response and are durable. But it is banned all over the USA and Europe because of the hazardous effects. However, you can use PFOA-free Teflon cookware and other alternatives such as cast iron or stainless steel pans.
Hazards Of Teflon
There is no doubt that Teflon-containing PFOA is extremely harmful. It causes flu-like symptoms, fever or headache, and so on. It also keeps your pan heated for hours after use. If you are a heart patient or diabetic, you should stop cooking with Teflon cookware. It can cause major health risks for pre-existing heart or respiratory conditions. Studies prove that the use of Teflon cookware is associated with:
- Liver enzyme changes
- High blood pressure
- Decreases Infant’s weight
- Abnormal cholesterol levels
There are some rumors that Teflon-containing PFOA is also related to cancer risks. Some people claim that they are suffering from cancer because of Teflon cookware but researchers failed to find an association between cancer and Telfon households. Teflon is harmful but does not cause any kind of cancer.
People also report body aches such as neckaches or backbone pain. Basically, Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) directly affects your immune system. This is why people who use PFOA cookware often suffer from chest pains, flu, and fever. If you are suffering from fever or flu consistently then contact your doctor.
As mentioned before, PFOA is a major health risk for people who have respiratory conditions. Further, it can cause asthma and respiratory problems. Studies found that it is involved in allergies and breathing difficulties. Moreover, PFOA will destroy your liver and cause a negative impact on the thyroid.
Giving Off Gas
Teflon is not only dangerous for its consumers but also pollutes our environment. The gasses coming out of the fry pan or saucepan can make humans and animals sick. These gasses are amalgamations of greenhouse agents and elements used in chemical weapons. Let’s explore vital aspects of environmental damage caused by Teflon.
On different temperature levels, Teflon releases multiple gasses such as at 240°C it releases ultrafine particles. These particles damage human lungs and consistent exposure of 10 minutes can kill a person. Difluoroacetic acid releases at 360°C and is dangerous for the kidney of rats. These particles enter the human body through the nose or mouth and also have a negative impact on the human kidneys.
There are also other acids such as monofluoroacetic and perfluorooctanoic. The first chemical is highly hazardous to the respiratory system and can cause irregular heart rates. Some people also reported heart attacks because of monofluoroacetic acid. On the other hand, perfluorooctanoic acid causes tumors in rats and damages the pancreas. It is not only toxic for animals but also affects the human body and a lower dose can kill a person.
At 470°C silicon tetrafluoride is released which is one of the most poisonous chemicals for humans and animals. It decreases the oxygen level in our red blood cells and causes rashes on the skin. Eye irritation, difficulty in breathing, and throat irritation are also reported widely. Perfluorobutane is also on the list of toxic chemicals released at 600°C. This is a global warming gas that pollutes the environment and increases the chances of warm air.
Should I Use Teflon Cookware?
This could be breaking news for some people that Teflon is a highly dangerous chemical for humans and ecology. It kills animals and releases global warming gasses. If you want to save yourself from all the diseases mentioned above then stop using Teflon cookware. You can use other alternatives of Teflon cookware such as PFOA-free Teflon cookware. These cookwares are allowed all around the world and provide you 100% safe food.
It is time to make important decisions because little changes can save you from major health problems. Do not worry about the alternatives because I have collected some inexpensive alternatives for the Teflon cookware. But before we dig into details I would like to suggest that you waste the old Teflon cookware.
Alternatives For Teflon Cookware
1. Ceramic Non-Stick
The first alternative I have for you is ceramic non-stick pans. There are no toxic materials present in this pan such as PFOA, lead, or cadmium. The second reason is they are natural minerals so there is not a single chance that ceramic non-stick pans will harm you. Moreover, these pans make your food more delicious and do not absorb the aroma of the food. Now you can eat without worrying about the toxic chemicals and dangerous results.
As well, this pan is able to resist heat and is easy to clean. You do not need special chemicals to remove food from the surface while washing the pan. They are also aesthetically pleasing and the lightweight helps you to take the pan anywhere. This pan is made of Silicon to prevent sticking and its sand coating absorbs the maximum level of heat.
2. Cast Iron
Cast iron pans are compatible with all types of ovens and are used as broilers and on grills as well. Cast iron pan is a favorite of many chefs because it has no toxic chemicals and it is one of the most highly durable pans. Cast iron pans are excellent for searing meat because once the pan is hot, it stays hot for a long duration. As well as, these pans are super affordable.
3. Enameled Cast Iron
If you are fond of good-looking households and failed to find an attractive pan then enameled cast iron is made for you. This pan has zero toxic materials and with a natural finish, it makes your food super awesome. This pan is highly adaptable and bears up to 260-celsius temperature. Plus, its easy-to-clean and natural non-stick capability allows you to use it independently.
4. Carbon Steel
Then comes carbon steel cookware which can bear 500-celsius heat. Yes, this is more than enough but the real problem is the toxic materials. Carbon steel cookware contains 1 percent carbon and 99 percent the rest of the material so there are no toxic chemicals present in this pan. As well as, you can use the pans for different purposes such as grilling, boiling, or frying food. Some people often report headaches because of heavyweight cookware but this pan is extremely lightweight.
5. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel cookware is also made up of toxic-free materials. You can use these pans for multiple purposes such as frying or grilling. The shining look and attractive design of the pans allow you to use them independently. Additionally, these pans are highly affordable and non-reactive. Most experts claim that stainless steel is the best alternative for Teflon cookware.
6. PFOA Free Teflon
If you are habitual in using Teflon cookware then you must go for PFOA-free Teflon pans. These pans do not contain any toxic chemicals and bear high temperatures. As well, this cookware heats up fast and provides a quick response. Anyhow, these pans are not banned and are available on the market.
Why is Teflon still sold?
Teflon is still on the market because PFOA is no longer part of Teflon cookware now. All of the new Teflon cookware you see are PFOA free.
Are Teflon pans still toxic?
PFOA-free Teflon is not toxic. PFOA Teflon contains highly toxic chemicals and results in great damage to human health and ecology. But thanks to the federal government that banned PFOA Teflon.
What is the safest cookware to use?
There are multiple safe cookware such as ceramic non-stick, cast iron, enameled cast iron, carbon steel, PFOA-free Teflon, and stainless steel.
Teflon-containing PFOA is a major challenge to human health and ecology. It not only affects human health but also damages the body parts of animals and emits global warming gasses. Teflon-containing PFOA has been banned in the USA since 2013 and in Europe since 2008. Anyhow, you can use PFOA-free Teflon cookware but there are also other 100% safe cookware such as stainless steel, carbon steel, or ceramic non-stick households.