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From Cook's Illustrated - Is Nonstick cookware dangerous?

Last post May 18, 2005 2:58 PM by purselamplady . 22 replies.


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  • From Cook's Illustrated - Is Nonstick cookware dangerous?
    Just read this in the June issue of Cook’s Illustrated.
    We’ve all heard that Teflon pans can release fumes at high heats that is dangerous to birds and people. DuPont says that Teflon pans can be used safely until the surface temperature exceeds 500 degrees. Okay, so what does that mean? How hot does a pan get?

    Cook’s Illustrated test how hot does a pan get when using it under normal circumstances. They tested a heavy duty non-stick pan and a lightweight inexpensive non-stick pan.
    For a stir-fry, which calls for heat during the entire 10 minutes of cooking, the heavy pan got to 572 degrees and the lightweight one got to 546 degrees!

    What happens if the pan is accidentally left empty over high heat? The high quality pan passed 500 degrees in THREE minutes and passed 600 degrees in FIVE minutes. The lighter pan passed 500 degrees in TWO minutes and 600 degrees in THREE minutes!
    False
  • RE: From Cook's Illustrated - Is Nonstick cookware dangerous?
    mmm- i use Alton Browns method- use nonstick for things that REQUIRE non stick- like eggs pancakes- ect... those items are not cooked at high temps-

    everything else goes in to the other pans- the non stick ones
    False
  • RE: From Cook's Illustrated - Is Nonstick cookware dangerous?
    I don't think the new quality non stick is made from teflon. If it says teflon coated don't buy it.
    False
  • RE: From Cook's Illustrated - Is Nonstick cookware dangerous?
    "A Calphalon representative told us the nonstick coating used in Simply Calphalon cookware is not Teflon either, but is made by Exxon-Mobil and contains Polytetrafluoroethylene. This chemical is the same compound at the center of the Teflon debate."
    False
  • RE: From Cook's Illustrated - Is Nonstick cookware dangerous?
    Non-stick coatings on cookware, ovens, and other appliances or products often contain chemicals that, when heated, emit toxic fumes that can kill birds. PTFE, which is short for polytetrafluoroethylene, is one of the main dangerous chemicals found in non-stick coatings (also known as C8). When PTFE is heated, it emits many types of gases and fumes dangerous to a bird's respiratory system. The fumes emitted from PTFE and other chemicals in non-stick coatings work by attacking a bird's air sacs. The lungs then hemorrhage and fill with fluid, causing vomiting, convulsions, and death.

    While gases and fumes from non-stick products may or may not do any harm to humans or other animals, the damage to a bird's fragile respiratory system is often irreparable. PTFE is odorless and colorless, which gives it the nickname "the silent killer."

    PTFE is known most commonly by the brand name Teflon, but is found also in many other brands such as: Silverstone, Fluron, Supra, Excalibur, Greblon, Xylon, Duracote, Resistal, Autograph T-Fal, and several others. There is no such thing as a "safe" non-stick coating.

    False
  • RE: From Cook's Illustrated - Is Nonstick cookware dangerous?
    http://www.pslc.ws/macrog/ptfe.htm

    Polytetrafluoroethylene IS Teflon. The fancier brands may use a different adhesion method, but the basic molecule, containing the flourine which is the poisonous part, is the same.
    False
  • RE: From Cook's Illustrated - Is Nonstick cookware dangerous?
    The Teflon flu sucks. I almost never use non-stick pans now. If you do use them, don't overheat your pans and breathe the fumes!!
    False
  • RE: From Cook's Illustrated - Is Nonstick cookware dangerous?
    First off--Teflon is a Dupont brand name--so other manufacturers can easily and honestly say that they don't have 'teflon' on their nonstick pans, when they're using the exact same chemical composition. As long as it's made by someone other than Dupont, it's not CALLED teflon

    Teflon and related compounds are so dangerous that anyone working in the factories where the cookware is made has to wear a breathing mask that supplies them with fresh, outside air. People working in the factories have had children with extreme birth defects.

    Even at low temps, nonstick coatings are dangerous--if they flake into your food, they're a dangerous carcinogen. And by the time you notice a scratch on your cookware, in most cases it's been flaking off for quite some time, getting into your food.

    My brother works with metals. He clued us in on the dangers years ago. None of us will have nonstick in our homes.

    Besides, nothing's as nonstick, healthy, easy to cook on as cast iron. Properly seasoned, a good cast iron pan is just as nonstick as a teflon-coated one and they're a joy to use. I've also got Farberware stainless--nothing sticks to them, either, if you cook food properly. I really don't see the need for pans coated with very dangerous chemicals.
    False
  • RE: From Cook's Illustrated - Is Nonstick cookware dangerous?
    ehh- what doesnt kill you makes you stronger

    too short of a life to worry-

    what is the difference if i eat teflon bits when they have to test the air quaility at my job?


    i am gonna be smoking and drinking coffee and drinking nutrasweet-

    just one more reason to live like i was dying-
    and stop worring:)
    False
  • RE: From Cook's Illustrated - Is Nonstick cookware dangerous?
    Becka, you are aware, aren't you, that the fumes can kill birds and young children?
    False
  • RE: From Cook's Illustrated - Is Nonstick cookware dangerous?
    yes- if you have the pan on high heat for long periods of time- but like i said i use it for foods that need to have teflon- eggs pancakes- the like- and that is it-
    and i never have them on high heat-


    see- i am a firm beleiver that a little common sense and paying attention and accountablitiy in a person would prevent alot of deaths- and i am not saying that insinuating that you dont use that- you know i am not- i "HEART" BFC:)

    but i get tired of people not just using their noggins when it comes to stuff like this-


    plus i dont have any birds- :)
    and i am sure you are aware of the saying that if a bird comes in the house a person in the house is going to die anyway-

    ;)
    False
  • RE: From Cook's Illustrated - Is Nonstick cookware dangerous?
    it jsut isnt that hard to make things on low heat-
    False
  • RE: From Cook's Illustrated - Is Nonstick cookware dangerous?
    I have wondered also, if the fumes are dangerous, then it must be likely that toxins get into the food you are cooking as well.
    False
  • RE: From Cook's Illustrated - Is Nonstick cookware dangerous?
    Yes, becka, I'm aware of that. I freak if a bird gets in my house! lol And if it were an owl, I'd move out immediately!

    But three minutes? Five minutes? That's not a long time to me!

    I HEART you too! lol
    False
  • RE: From Cook's Illustrated - Is Nonstick cookware dangerous?
    I agree about the common sense issue, but frankly the industry does not give an appropriately strong warning to not use the pans on high, or even medium high heat.
    False