Teflon Coated Pans – Their Health Hazards

Teflon-coated frying pans were considered a major innovation in cookware when they were introduced around sixty years ago. Teflon is the name given to Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), a synthetic compound containing carbon and fluorine. After being synthesized for the first time in 1938, it was initially used to coat pipes due to its lubricating and non-reactive properties. It was only after the year 1954 the Teflon-coated frying pans were made available for commoners.

Recent studies showed that Teflon is non-toxic and stable at low temperatures, but it becomes unstable once the temperature of the pan crosses 250 C. It begins to disintegrate rapidly when heated further. During this process, it lets out many by-products that are toxic for human consumption and harmful for the environment. One such by-product is Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). The PFOA is actually produced artificially. It is one of the raw materials used while manufacturing Teflon. PFOA can remain in the environment and body for a long period of time without getting degraded. Recently, it was found that people who are exposed to this compound are at a high risk of kidney and bladder tumors. Surprisingly, very little effort is being put into banning the use of PFOA even after knowing its hazards.

Teflon is responsible for another equally harmful effect on our health. When a Teflon coated frying pan is heated to very high temperatures, it releases fumes into the air which are found to cause serious lung diseases. The individuals exposed to such fumes for 4 – 8 hours may feel flu-like symptoms with persistent cough, headaches, fever and heaviness in the chest region. Even birds can be harmed by the PTFE fumes. So, it is mandatory that you read the manufacturers’ labels in detail and understand the property of the non-stick cookware before purchasing them. With too much of Teflon cookware being sold using pushy advertisements, it is very important to understand how harmful it can be to you.

It is highly recommended that you replace Teflon-coated utensils with alternative cookware such as stone frying pans. They have zero PTFE and PFOA which makes them safe for your family. They are made by fusing real stone or sand particles to a surface made of aluminium or stainless steel. They are easy to clean and are as non-sticky as their Teflon coated competitors. They also need less oil during cooking. You may visit www.stonefryingpans.com to read detailed reviews of some quality frying pans made of stone.

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