The Maids of Portland, Maine

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Truth About Teflon

Is Teflon an additional health hazard in your home? When Teflon-coated pans are heated, within five minutes they reach 750 degrees F. The Enviromental Working Group reports that the degradation of the synthetic polmer (PTFE) leads to a litany of toxic compounds which include highly lethal and corrosive gases as well as a chemical warfare agent known as PFIB. PFIB is ten times more lethal than a chemical warfare agent used in WWWI and WWWII known as phosgene. These toxic compounds do not break down further and linger in your home.

It is a well known fact that PTFE is toxic to birds. It causes the exposed lungs of birds to hemorrhage, to fill up with liquid that leads to suffocation. What are the effects on humans? Teflon toxicity causes a temporary, intense, though not very serious flu-like syndrome. Experts call this polymer fume fever. Since the fever mimics the flu, most doctors do not make the connection to overheated Teflon. In a study that tested the milk of 45 nursing mothers, PTFE residuals were found.

Dupont, aware of the hazards associated with heated Teflon, required workers to wear respirators as early as 1962 in poorly ventilated areas.. During that year, Dupont tested on volunteers Teflon-laced cigarettes. Nine out of the ten volunteers became very ill with flu-like symptoms. Despite these results, Dupont repeatedly denies knowing about any serious Teflon-induced health effects. Both Dupont and the government lack the data needed to know with certainty that Teflon in home cookware is safe.


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