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Green Pan totally safe?

a
alexa52 Jan 4, 2009 04:01 PM

What pans are safe??

I threw out all my old non-stick fry pans and have been using belgique. But the pans are such a pain to clean. And I can't figure out how to scramble eggs on them.

I just found a Green Pan. It says it is thermolon non-stick technology and is PTFE Free, PFOA-free in manufacturing. It does have an aluminium body. Any thoughts?

I am excited to have a non-stick pan again, but want to make sure it is safe. Otherwise-- anyone have good tricks to clean fry pans that are not non-stick?
Alexa
http://52perfectdays.com

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  1. c oliver RE: alexa52 Jan 4, 2009 04:11 PM

    Why did you throw out your non-stick pans?

    39 Replies
    1. re: c oliver
      a
      alexa52 RE: c oliver Jan 4, 2009 07:49 PM

      this is what I have found:
      it is best to avoid products that contain polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), or Teflon
      Like carbon monoxide, PTFE is odorless and invisible. It travels through the air unnoticed. In humans PTFE causes flu-like symptoms. (see http://www.budgies.org/info/teflon.html
      ) &
      at temperatures above 500°F (260°C), Teflon begins to decompose. The resultant gases are known to produce hallucinations and flu-like symptoms for humans, and death for indoor birds. The number of people possibly affected by Teflon, must be enormous, given that over 70% of the cookware purchased in the United States has a nonstick coating. (see http://www.pristineplanet.com/newslet...)

      1. re: alexa52
        c oliver RE: alexa52 Jan 4, 2009 08:09 PM

        I just did a down and dirty google on this and SO much of it is anecdotal. The internet is a wonderful tool but someone's personal slant is hardly cause for action. I probably wouldn't hang a bird's cage over the stove anyway.

        1. re: alexa52
          alanbarnes RE: alexa52 Jan 4, 2009 08:28 PM

          Actually, teflon doesn't start emitting polymer fumes until about 850F. The manufacturers recommend a 500F maximum just to be on the safe side.

          Now, let's talk about a pan that's 850F. Being the quantitative (read here: nerdy) type that I am, I took my infrared thermometer and my iron wok out to the 60,000 btu burner that lives on the back patio. At 500F, the pan was smoking heavily. By 600F, the tiny specks of food stuck to the wok had ignited (and I thought I had wiped it out pretty good - dang, those pad thai noodles are sticky). By 700F, the bottom of the wok was glowing red. After that, the thermometer just read "HI."

          In other words, the only way you're going to get a teflon pan to emit polymer fumes is to get it hot enough that the food in it CATCHES ON FIRE. At that point, mild flu-like symptoms are the least of your worries. (See my comment about cooking being the leading cause of fires and related injuries in the US.)

          If lots of people were being sickened by PTFE, don't you think that there would be some evidence of this fact? I mean, do you really think the CDC, the NSF, and all of the academic epidemiologists out there are part of a vast conspiracy to cover up the dangers of teflon?

          There are plenty of people out there who are more than willing to use scare tactics to try to separate you from your hard-earned dollars. That doesn't mean you have to believe them.

          1. re: alanbarnes
            Candy RE: alanbarnes Jan 5, 2009 11:15 AM

            Thank you Alan for being the informed voice of reason. Working in the cookware business that I do, I get thoroughly tired of the hysterics convinced that pans, storage containers, mixing bowls, lids, spatulas etc. etc are going to kill them and shame on us for having this stuff on our shelves. Can't buy a carbon steel wok because the lid is spun aluminum and any condensation collecting in the aluminum lid could drip down and contaminate their food. They won't use stainless because of transference of some metal in cooking.....the list goes on and it is migraine making.

            1. re: alanbarnes
              m
              mateo21 RE: alanbarnes Jan 5, 2009 09:06 PM

              Do you have a source for 850F? If so, please share! Thanks!

              1. re: mateo21
                alanbarnes RE: mateo21 Jan 6, 2009 03:00 AM

                Lee KP, Zapp JA, Sarver JW. Ultrastructural alterations of rat lung exposed to pyrolysis products of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE, Teflon). Lab Invest 1976; 35:152–160 (no clinical symptoms or lung alterations in rats exposed to the pyrolytic products of PTFE at temperatures below 425°C [797°F]; at 450°C [842°F], rats revealed severe respiratory difficulty, pulmonary oedema, haemorrhage, and necrosis of the tracheobronchial epithelium).

                So I guess I misspoke; teflon actually starts emitting harmful fumes somewhere between 800F and 850F. But the conclusion remains the same.

                1. re: alanbarnes
                  c oliver RE: alanbarnes Jan 6, 2009 06:36 AM

                  Thanks, alan. I'm saving this to "lob" at people when they make those comments. I guess that's a harsh attitude but it does seem like alot of people just have a closed mind. In discussions like this, I rarely/never see someone write "wow, thanks; I've changed my mind thanks to you." And, hey, try to be more accurate when you start throwing around those numbers :) There's a huge difference between 800 and 850, ya know!

                  1. re: alanbarnes
                    j
                    Jennifer_B RE: alanbarnes Jan 6, 2009 07:26 AM

                    Teflon emits enough fumes to effect rats at that temperature. Birds have much more sensitive respiratory systems.

                    Dupont indicates that Teflon surfaces will begin to deteriorate at 500°F. That's still much higher than would be useful for cooking. Just take care not to leave cookware unattended on the stove, or let it boil dry over high heat. That's really common sense use for any cookware.

                    When used properly according to the manufacturer's instructions, neither Teflon nor ceramic nonstick coatings should present any health concerns.

                    1. re: Jennifer_B
                      m
                      MakingSense RE: Jennifer_B Jan 6, 2009 10:02 AM

                      Isn't it also "common sense" for bird owners not to keep their beloved pet birds near the stove anyway?
                      The smoke from searing a steak could do them in.

                    2. re: alanbarnes
                      m
                      mateo21 RE: alanbarnes Jan 8, 2009 09:08 PM

                      Interesting. In another paper that cites the paper you're referring to says that >260C (500F) fumes begin to be admitted, while 'polymer fume fever' doesn't start to occur until >350C (660F). Both of which are less than 800F.

                      Unfortunately, it's not just Teflon that's dangerous in pans -- although, for the sake of it the OP mentioned the pan in question was PFOA free, which I believe is a nasty "left over" element of the manufacturing process that is very dangerous as well; now to look up its chemical properties.

                      1. re: alanbarnes
                        JuniorBalloon RE: alanbarnes Apr 1, 2014 01:50 PM

                        That's all well and good, but I've never owned a non-stick pan that didn't lose it's non-stick properties. In the much older days you could see it peeling off. I'm pretty sure modern pans don't do that anymore, but where does the non-stick coating go?

                        jb

                        1. re: JuniorBalloon
                          c oliver RE: JuniorBalloon Apr 1, 2014 01:56 PM

                          And I've never used a nonstick pan that DID lose that property.

                          1. re: c oliver
                            JuniorBalloon RE: c oliver Apr 1, 2014 02:04 PM

                            Well then obviously you're not doing it right. :o) I had a non-stick Circulon pan a few years back that started out great. I never used it on high. But after a few years of use you couldn't cook eggs in it without sticking.

                            Most of the research linked here is about heating a pan to excessive degrees and off gassing. What about repeated heating to normal cooking temps?

                            Not trying to fear monger. Just asking questions.

                            jb

                            1. re: JuniorBalloon
                              c oliver RE: JuniorBalloon Apr 1, 2014 02:31 PM

                              I'l just keep doing it wrong then.

                              1. re: JuniorBalloon
                                DuffyH RE: JuniorBalloon Apr 1, 2014 06:48 PM

                                Hi JuniorBalloon,

                                I'm somewhat of a freak about caring for my nonstick pans. I don't have many; I just hate having to replace otherwise perfectly good pans, because I only buy very good cookware. So let me ask, if I may...

                                Do you preheat them?
                                When do you add oil, butter, liquids, etc...?
                                Do you use cooking spray, such as PAM?

                                1. re: DuffyH
                                  JuniorBalloon RE: DuffyH Apr 2, 2014 08:15 AM

                                  Honestly it's been so long I don't remember exactly. I certainly used some butter or oil when cooking certain items. I probably did some preheating, but never to a very high heat. Only used plastic utensils. I never let PAM in my kitchen.

                                  jb

                      2. re: alanbarnes
                        Demented RE: alanbarnes Jan 27, 2009 09:49 AM

                        DuPont studies show that Teflon offgases toxic particulates at 446°F. At 680°F Teflon pans release at least six toxic gases, including two carcinogens.

                        Keep it off high heat and out of the broiler it should be fine.

                        1. re: Demented
                          alanbarnes RE: Demented Jan 27, 2009 10:03 AM

                          Do you have a cite for those studies? TIA.

                          1. re: alanbarnes
                            Demented RE: alanbarnes Jan 27, 2009 10:42 AM

                            This should keep you reading for a while.

                            http://www.ecomall.com/greenshopping/...

                            http://www.ewg.org/reports/toxicteflon

                            http://environmentalchemistry.com/yog...

                            1. re: Demented
                              alanbarnes RE: Demented Jan 27, 2009 11:21 AM

                              Sorry, that information is just wrong. The person who wrote it either didn't read or didn't understand his source material, and apparently doesn't know the difference between Farenheit and Centigrade.

                              Each of the pages you linked to relies upon an Environmental Working Group article that claims "DuPont studies show that the Teflon offgases toxic particulates at 464°F." The full version of the EWG article can be found at http://www.ewg.org/book/export/html/8296.

                              According to the footnotes, this statement is supported by CJ Johnston, et al., "Pulmonary effects induced by ultrafine PTFE particles" Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 168:208-15. The abstract of this study is available for free online at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11...

                              And according to the abstract, the researchers "used uf Teflon (PTFE) fumes (count median particle size approximately 16 nm) generated by heating PTFE in a tube furnace to 486 degrees C to evaluate principles of ultrafine particle toxicity."

                              486 degrees Centigrade is over 900 degrees Farenheit. And yes, if you get a teflon pan that hot, it is going to cause all kinds of problems. But the information you're quoting is demonstrably false. Sorry.

                              [Edited to repair second link; thanks for the catch, paulj.]

                              1. re: alanbarnes
                                paulj RE: alanbarnes Jan 27, 2009 11:50 AM

                                This may be a better link to the nih abstract

                                http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11...

                                This is a 2000 paper. It looks at various issues, including exposure history, and time since the particles where generated.

                                The 1st author on this paper, CJ Johnston has continued to do research on neonatology, and breathing issues in particular. From his list publications since 2000 I don't see evidence that he is worried about effects that ptfe might have on children.

                                http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/web/ind...

                                1. re: alanbarnes
                                  m
                                  mateo21 RE: alanbarnes Jan 27, 2009 12:10 PM

                                  Umm... without getting into the research, what you're quoting doesn't disprove anything about the temperature at which PTFE is made volatile: "...generated by heating PTFE in a tube to 486 degrees C..." So? They used this particular method for assessing their particular question -- maybe they were examining a more industrial application of PTFE (which is, in fact, where most if not all of the research on PTFE occurs), and not home use. What remains, and what this discussion in contingent upon, is you citing a reliable source stating, with repeatable measure, that PTFE does not volatilize until XX degrees --which you have not done.

                                  1. re: mateo21
                                    alanbarnes RE: mateo21 Jan 27, 2009 12:21 PM

                                    My point was narrower. Demented claimed that "DuPont studies show that Teflon offgases toxic particulates at 446°F." That claim is incorrect.

                                    I was also incorrect when I stated that PTFE doesn't volatilize until 850F. And I said so above.

                                    Neither of these things change the simple fact that PTFE heated to temperatures under 788F doesn't cause polymer fume fever in mammals.

                                    1. re: alanbarnes
                                      m
                                      mateo21 RE: alanbarnes Jan 27, 2009 12:29 PM

                                      And I would certainly agree with those points (minus an article I found... which I'll see if I can recover the link to, which cited evidence of Polymer Fume Fever at 660F.

                                      What I suppose I would like to add to this debate, is while it seems as though an acute toxic effect of PTFE is not found (save for birds), a threat still exists from long term exposure -- how many people are cooking on chipped and scratched PTFE cookware? Are they ingesting PTFE from said source and is ingestion of PTFE harmful? Does PTFE cause long term effects? What are those effects and are they potentially dangerous?

                                      Those are big unanswered questions, with no clear answer. Most scientists are diffident about their statements -- certainly sometimes too much, but there is a reason for their practiced humility -- there are a lot of questions we just don't know about, nor the answer to.

                                      Do I think "green" pans are totally save? Not sure, but I think the ephemeral nature of them is enough to dissuade my purchase, lest we begin a discussion on their unknown side effects.

                                      1. re: mateo21
                                        paulj RE: mateo21 Jan 27, 2009 12:42 PM

                                        There are also people with PTFE implants - it is used in joints, and Goretex membranes. Cooking pans are not the only way we come in contact with the plastic.

                                        Even if PTFE flakes are ingested with food, that does not mean that they have been absorbed into the bloodstream. Given the inertness of the material during cooking, it is likely that anything that enters by way of your mouth leaves via the other end of the digestive tract.

                                        Studying the long term effects of a material like this can be extremely difficult. Lets say you develop prostate cancer at age 50 or 60. How is anyone going to tell whether it was caused by PTFE that you ingested from your mom's beater nonstick pan, or the power lines you lived under as a teenager, or the wine you have drinking since you came of age? Or none of the above.

                                        Looking further at the Johnston abstract, I noticed that there are other papers that look at inhaled ultrafine carbon particles. The are trying to understand the effects of urban air pollution (including ozone) on the elderly. Could heating seasoned cast iron to 400C produce harmful ultrafine carbon pariticles?

                                        1. re: paulj
                                          f
                                          ferret RE: paulj Jan 27, 2009 12:55 PM

                                          The "pat" answer is always easiest to digest. Nice to think that you can avoid life's risks just by avoiding aluminum or Teflon or red meat or ....

                                  2. re: alanbarnes
                                    paulj RE: alanbarnes Jan 27, 2009 12:21 PM

                                    In the EWG link, the Johnston paper [5] is cited for its study of how the ultrafine particles can affect lungs. It isn't a source regarding the lowest temperature where the particles are produced. That source is an earlier 1991 article [4].

                                    1. re: paulj
                                      alanbarnes RE: paulj Jan 27, 2009 12:55 PM

                                      The 1991 Seidel study was also focused on how polymer fumes can affect lungs. And in order to obtain fumes from PTFE, they had to heat it to 420C (788F). Again, we're talking about temps that are way outside the normal range for home cooking.

                                      1. re: alanbarnes
                                        Demented RE: alanbarnes Jan 27, 2009 01:41 PM

                                        Search TEFLON on this website http://nucnews.net/nucnews/2003nn/030...

                                        1. re: Demented
                                          alanbarnes RE: Demented Jan 27, 2009 02:10 PM

                                          That website just refers to the EWG paper again. Information that's flat-ass wrong does not become correct just because you can find numerous links to it on the internet.

                                          1. re: alanbarnes
                                            Demented RE: alanbarnes Jan 27, 2009 02:31 PM

                                            You base your assumption that the test performed by Dr. Jennifer Klein of EWG in 2003 on what exactly?

                                            1. re: Demented
                                              alanbarnes RE: Demented Jan 27, 2009 03:11 PM

                                              A verb, please, I need a verb. Please tell me what I assume about the test performed by Dr. Jennifer Klein of EWG in 2003.

                                              Best I can tell, her test demonstrated that if you turn a burner on high, put a pan on it, and leave it there for a long time, the pan gets hot. I fully concur with her astute observations.

                                              1. re: alanbarnes
                                                Demented RE: alanbarnes Jan 27, 2009 03:39 PM

                                                In new tests conducted by a university food safety professor, a generic non-stick frying pan preheated on a conventional, electric stovetop burner reached 736°F in three minutes and 20 seconds.

                                                I would hardly call 3 1/2 minutes a long time.

                                                Outside of folks who love to cook and read what can be found on topics related to cooking...

                                                How many average home cooks know better then to place a non-stick pan on high heat?

                                                Not to put that coated piece of cookware in the broiler? in another post on chowhound someone was asking if it was okay to put non-stick cookware in the broiler.

                                                The point is, the coating on this cookware can be hazardous if misused.

                                                1. re: Demented
                                                  alanbarnes RE: Demented Jan 28, 2009 11:00 PM

                                                  Tell you what, put your hand on the same burner. Then tell me that 3 1/2 minutes isn't a long time.

                                                  I put non-stick pans on high heat all the time. I just don't leave them (or any other pans) there until things start to catch fire.

                                                  Doesn't seem like you need to be a university food safety professor to figure that one out.

                                            2. re: alanbarnes
                                              c oliver RE: alanbarnes Jan 28, 2009 08:15 PM

                                              Oh my goodness, you are my god (lower case). Would people please, please use some discrimination before they say "oh, the internet says...." I struggle regularly to find internet sources from reputable sources. Argh

                                    2. re: Demented
                                      m
                                      MakingSense RE: Demented Jan 28, 2009 10:07 PM

                                      The Environmental Working Group is hardly an acceptable source.
                                      They're pretty far out there as far as cooking the books on so-called "research" and writing alarmist reports.
                                      http://www.activistcash.com/organizat...

                                      1. re: MakingSense
                                        Demented RE: MakingSense Jan 28, 2009 11:09 PM

                                        MakingSense,

                                        Thanks for the info on EGW, defiantly something to keep in mind when reading their propaganda.

                                        The question this raises for me... Does their shady past negate their research, test and published papers?

                                        1. re: Demented
                                          alanbarnes RE: Demented Jan 29, 2009 08:30 AM

                                          ~~"Does their shady past negate their research, test and published papers?"~~

                                          Absolutely not. It doesn't matter if a researcher is biased, the research should stand or fall on its own merits. And EWG's research falls flat on its face.

                                          The primary research - experiments conducted by EWG - seems to be good enough. But it appears to be limited to charting the temperature of a pan left on a burner over time. On the other hand, the secondary research - the review of literature documenting experiments done by others - is deeply flawed.

                                          Yesterday evening I spent some time trying to figure out how EWG could claim that Teflon offgases toxic particles at 464F. I mean, that's a temperature that is reached on a pretty regular basis in my kitchen. Should I be concerned?

                                          Sure enough, buried in Table II of the Seidel study is a reference to the volatilization of low-molecular-weight particles at 240C (464F). But if you look at the methodology, the researchers heated Teflon to 420C (788F), used an ultrafine filter to capture the particles it emitted, and then re-volatilized those particles at relatively low temperatures.

                                          In other words, the claim that "DuPont studies show that the Teflon offgases toxic particulates at 464°F" is simply false. The study shows that Teflon offgasses toxic particles at 788F, and, if you catch those particles in a filter, **the filter** re-offgasses them at 464F. Not a typical scenario, at least in my kitchen.

                                          Given that there isn't a cooking oil that won't spontaneously ignite by the time it reaches 680F, I'm not too worried. And for anybody who is concerned about Teflon, that piece of information might be useful - put some oil in the pan before you put it on the burner. If flames start shooting up, turn the heat down, because you're getting close to the point where the Teflon is unsafe.

                                          1. re: Demented
                                            m
                                            MakingSense RE: Demented Jan 29, 2009 09:27 AM

                                            It should raise questions. EWG is now fairly widely used as a source by the popular media but nobody ever asks about their qualifications nor their background. They send out media releases and the info is accepted at face value.
                                            The common criticism of many studies is "Oh, yeah, what do you expect? That was funded by the industry, the food manufacturers, DuPont, [fill in the blank], who are trying to cover their asses because they have a vested interest in making their products look harmless."
                                            Many people are quick to assume that because a corporation or trade group funds a study that it may be biased but they may blindly accept something from a "non-profit."

                                            Not all "non-profits" are "pure."
                                            Non-profit status is nothing but an IRS tax classification and is easily set up for little money. A rent-a-desk, a few people with high-sounding credentials, and you're good to go. Get a marquee name and you're golden.
                                            They can just as easily cherry-pick statistics and studies - actually MORE easily than corporations, since there is no liability.
                                            There is nothing to stop any group from commissioning a study, selecting which "friendly" scientists will design the methodology, and then determining how the results will be presented.
                                            Even polling can be designed to produce a specific outcome. It's called "polling to the result" in the business.

                                            If these groups can establish themselves as "authorities" on a topic by the right press releases and publicity, they can become the "go-to experts" when, in fact, they have little real expertise.
                                            It's inexpensive guerrilla warfare. Even one guy with a successful blog can do it.
                                            Many companies now have to spend large sums protecting their "on line reputations" or public perceptions of their products against attack from groups who use specious studies or innuendo to damage them.
                                            Google FUD marketing.
                                            It's an expanding enterprise all unto itself.

                            2. alanbarnes RE: alexa52 Jan 4, 2009 04:36 PM

                              No pans are safe. They can cause serious burns if you come into contact with them, and they routinely heat their contents to levels that are extremely hazardous. Moreover, every pan is capable of heating oils until they polymerize and creating carbonization on food; both of these processes create carcinogens.

                              If you want to be on the safe side, buy pans that are NSF certified. Like most commercial non-stick.

                              Seriously, Google FUD. 'Nuff said.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: alanbarnes
                                c oliver RE: alanbarnes Jan 4, 2009 04:59 PM

                                Thanks, kiddo. You said it better than I could.

                                1. re: alanbarnes
                                  a
                                  alexa52 RE: alanbarnes Jan 4, 2009 07:51 PM

                                  I was pretty clear about the dangers of hot pans. I meant chemicals/health safety.

                                  1. re: alexa52
                                    paulj RE: alexa52 Jan 4, 2009 08:57 PM

                                    You might not know until they have been on the market 20 years, and rumors about their dangers start to circulate on the net.

                                2. m
                                  mpalmer6c RE: alexa52 Jan 4, 2009 07:41 PM

                                  The only reasonably reliable report I've
                                  was in National Geographic's Green
                                  Guide last May (apparently not archived).
                                  Their conclusion was that the Gren Pan's
                                  safety was not known.

                                  But non-stick pans supposedly give
                                  off fumes only when heated above
                                  500 degrees. I use one for egs and keep
                                  the temp low to medium.

                                  There is no evidence that an aluminum body
                                  on a non-stick pan is harmful. I use all-
                                  aluminum (uncoated) fry pans myself.

                                  I boil water in funky pans, and the
                                  stuff usually comes out easily. Otherwise,
                                  a few swipes with a Scotch pad or copper sponge
                                  does the trick.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: mpalmer6c
                                    pitu RE: mpalmer6c Jan 10, 2009 11:09 AM

                                    mpalmer6cDaz, I like
                                    the stanza format
                                    much easier to read, yes

                                    ; )

                                  2. Caralien RE: alexa52 Jan 5, 2009 09:47 AM

                                    Have you tried cast-iron pans? While not as slippery as teflon-styled non-stick pans, they do make scrambled eggs well (as well as so many other things) and are incredibly easy to clean because it's rare to get anything to stick to it permanently. You also don't have to worry about damaging them with utensils or cleaning supplies (their primary issue being rust when not dried on the hot stove and oiled afterwards)

                                    1. j
                                      JBethell RE: alexa52 Jan 9, 2009 11:21 AM

                                      Yet, in all the argument about the pro's and con's of teflon, let's not forget that the question went unanswered for the most part.

                                      I, unfortunately, do not know the answer.

                                      *edit* - I just realized my post could come off as being a bit snarky. I assure you it wasn't intended like that.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: JBethell
                                        paulj RE: JBethell Jan 9, 2009 06:00 PM

                                        Maybe a better way to put the question: has anyone found independent, reliable, information confirming or disproving the claims made by the manufacturer (and echoed by the retailers)? I doubt if any of us have means to test these pans for safety - beyond leaving them on the hottest burner with our pet bird in the same room.

                                        Customer reviews on a place like Amazon probably won't say anything meaningful about safety, but they might give an idea of whether the pans live up to the claims of being nonstick and/or durable.

                                        Another question - what's the quality of the underlying pan? How thick is the aluminum? How is the handle attached.

                                        1. re: paulj
                                          m
                                          MakingSense RE: paulj Jan 9, 2009 07:40 PM

                                          Even the best tests by manufacturers - or any counterclaims - are still done under laboratory conditions.
                                          They don't take into account regular use by consumers or the lack of common sense which is unfortunately becoming all too common.
                                          Obviously, if you have an elderly relative who is beginning to leave burners lit under pans, you're going to re-think teflon or even letting them cook for themselves.
                                          Or if you're one of those people who leaves pots unattended while you nod off on the couch.

                                          All of the data show that the problems from Teflon arise when the pans are heated to a very high heat, well beyond that used for normal cooking. The oil will smoke and likely catch fire as will the food before the Teflon begins to disintegrate.
                                          It seems that the current generation of Telfon can be safely used unless you abuse it.
                                          That being said, paulj is very correct about the quality of the pan itself. There are junky Teflon-coated pans and high-quality ones.
                                          You normally get what you pay for.

                                      2. w
                                        wilmot RE: alexa52 Jan 9, 2009 03:14 PM

                                        I would go with a cast iron skillet, its not totally non-stick but pretty darn close, and probaly pretty "green" Go to a flea market/antique store and get a "wapak" "piqua ware" "griswold" or "wagner ware", as they should all be made in america, and of a higher quality cast iron, really smooth and good for eggs. It takes a little more oil, and doesnt quite make as good looking of an egg as a nontsick but pretty good.

                                        1. gdaerin RE: alexa52 Jan 9, 2009 09:42 PM

                                          I wouldn't trust it, but I also don't eat Beef because I'm concerned about Mad Cow! I think I'm prone to paranoia.

                                          Actually, I just saw those at Target yesterday. I thought about buying one but I just can't trust something completely untested and only time is going to tell us whether those are toxic or not.

                                          9 Replies
                                          1. re: gdaerin
                                            j
                                            Jennifer_B RE: gdaerin Jan 9, 2009 11:15 PM

                                            What makes you think they're completely untested? The nonstick coatings must meet FDA regulations in order to be sold in the United States. They certainly have been tested.

                                            1. re: gdaerin
                                              m
                                              MakingSense RE: gdaerin Jan 10, 2009 09:06 AM

                                              Sadly, the modern media is encouraging a climate of fear.
                                              Testing has reached such levels that it now can detect levels of one in a gazillion rather than the old one in a million. Those are such minor traces that they're not going to harm the angels dancing on the heads of pins.
                                              Yes, there are times when there are real threats and products should be banned or recalled. There is a mechanism in place for that.
                                              There hasn't been any BSE (mad cow) in the US except for one case years ago from a cow imported from another country and it was tracked so fast it would have made your head spin. There might be other reasons that you would choose not to eat beef but BSE in the US shouldn't be one of them.

                                              We are down to people living in fear of things that they shouldn't worry about.
                                              These are what statisticians call "outliers" - the very far edges of the bell curve - that won't affect 99.999999... % of the results. Normally these are discarded because they can be statistical anomolies or even result from scientific or reporting errors.

                                              For everything in your life, you can do a basic risk assessment.
                                              Is it worth cowering under your bed rather than walk out your front door? Have you stopped eating eggs because one egg in however many carries salmonella? Do you eat spinach despite that bad batch a few years ago? Have you resumes eating apples since the Alar scare years ago?
                                              Everything bears some risk.
                                              As FDR said, the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Unreasonable fears immobilize us.
                                              You don't have to buy a set of Teflon pans but fear shouldn't be a reason not to.

                                              1. re: MakingSense
                                                p
                                                pkay92003 RE: MakingSense Apr 1, 2014 01:38 PM

                                                "Everything bears some risk". You can say that again. Just living in the good ol' USA is risky (I do love my country). Why is it that: GMO foods, artificial color, Olean, brominated (flame retardant) vegetable oil & flour, preservatives BHA & BHT, bovine growth hormones rBGH & rBST, arsenic (used in some chicken feed), beta agonist drug ractopamine used in livestock, poultry litter in cow feed, chlorine washes for poultry carcasses, antibiotics as growth promoters on livestock farms (farms now account for 80 percent of all antibiotic use; and meat sold in US supermarkets is rife with antibiotic-resistant bacteria), cow protein in all animal feed, azodicarbonamide (chemical in plastics) used in flour bleaching and to make dough rise faster (all fast food)... are BANNED IN EUROPE, JAPAN, RUSSIA & THE UK!

                                                Notes regarding Mad Cow:
                                                1) The USDA currently tests less than 0.1 percent of the US cattle herd for Mad Cow Disease. This is a tiny fraction of the millions slaughtered or died each year. (In fact it used to be 1% but was reduced to 1/10th of a percent during Dubya Bush. USDA said "in order to lower the number of sick cattle found").
                                                2) The "poultry litter" mentioned above. Chicken feed often has animal proteins from cows, and well... Cows shouldn't ever be fed cow.

                                                David DiSalvo, a writer at Forbes, decided to really look into the eggs in popular fast food breakfast sandwiches. What he discovered was that their "eggs" are really a strange concoction that includes eggs and "premium egg blend." Some things that are in this special blend include glycerin, a solvent found in soap and shaving cream, dimethylpolysiloxane, a silicone that can also be found in Silly Putty, and calcium silicate, a sealant used on roofs and concrete. The age of just cracking an egg and cooking it has long since passed.

                                                The FDA et al, do nothing to ensure the safety of the food supply. The (insert expletive) they allow and approve is beyond reason.

                                                That is fact, not fear, and is something to worry about.

                                                PS: Many other things are banned in Europe but not in the US, like: bee harming pesticides, many new and harmful drugs, plastics containing a certain chemical (I can't name right now, but China ships separate shipments of plastic made items to both US & Europe - we get the garbage and Europe don't! Go figure?).

                                                Bottomline: The government agencies that are supposed to be looking out for us are not doing it, and are broken. There is no reason to believe that any item on a grocers shelf is necessarily safe, as far as your government doing it's job.

                                              2. re: gdaerin
                                                w
                                                walker RE: gdaerin Jan 12, 2009 01:12 AM

                                                Do you ever eat snickers? All kinds of products that contain nougat, caramel, etc are made with gelatin, which comes from cows. (Have you read "Stiff" by Mary Roach?)

                                                1. re: walker
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                                                  ferret RE: walker Jan 26, 2009 09:28 AM

                                                  Snickers is a bad example. They're kosher-certified and do not contain any animal-sourced products.

                                                  1. re: ferret
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                                                    walker RE: ferret Jan 26, 2009 11:52 AM

                                                    That's good to know; I can't remember if snickers were mentioned by name in her book but I guess gelatin is used in a lot of candy/cookies and we don't even think of those items having anything from cows.

                                                    1. re: walker
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                                                      ferret RE: walker Jan 26, 2009 12:07 PM

                                                      Marshmallow - with the exception of the Marsmallow Fluff product is pretty much always gelatin (as is, of course, Jello). So if you want to avoid animal products in already-unhealthy candy - check for Kosher certification.

                                                      1. re: ferret
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                                                        walker RE: ferret Jan 26, 2009 08:50 PM

                                                        So Kosher won't have gelatin in candy?

                                                        1. re: walker
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                                                          ferret RE: walker Jan 27, 2009 05:18 AM

                                                          Not animal-sourced gelatin. They generally substitute vegetable (agar agar) products.

                                              3. r
                                                RossD RE: alexa52 Jan 13, 2009 01:16 PM

                                                It is nice to see all of this conversation occurring around non-stick cookware, and I think some people such as alanbarnes have hit the nail on the head - although there are many options one can use, there are also a lot of misconceptions around Teflon. Speaking on behalf of DuPont, there have been no reported cases of consumers contracting adverse health effects as a result of in-home normal cooking use in the 40-plus year history of cookware coated with Teflon non-stick. Cooks in more than 40 countries around the world have purchased billions of pots and pans with DuPont non-stick coatings for home and commercial use.

                                                For more up-to-date information about using Teflon-coated pans (as well as some great recipes), please visit http://www.teflon.com

                                                6 Replies
                                                1. re: RossD
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                                                  fermented RE: RossD Jan 13, 2009 09:47 PM

                                                  http://www.ewg.org/node/19261
                                                  http://web1.msue.msu.edu/imp/mod02/01...

                                                  I vote for my Griswold and Wagner.

                                                  RE: Beef scares. I have good access to organic buffalo where I live. Beef ranching is sometimes Frankinstein genetics at this point. Give yourselves a treat and order some buffalo online. Buffalo black bean chilli--oh yes, oh yes.

                                                  1. re: fermented
                                                    alanbarnes RE: fermented Jan 13, 2009 10:10 PM

                                                    One word: EPIDEMIOLOGY. Look it up. Seriously.

                                                    1. re: alanbarnes
                                                      m
                                                      mateo21 RE: alanbarnes Jan 25, 2009 12:08 PM

                                                      Am I the only one confused about this post? Was this meant to go above?

                                                      1. re: mateo21
                                                        alanbarnes RE: mateo21 Jan 26, 2009 08:54 AM

                                                        Sometimes posts are edited or a thread is moderated in such a way that non sequiturs result. Whaddaya gonna do?

                                                    2. re: fermented
                                                      Caralien RE: fermented Jan 25, 2009 01:33 AM

                                                      we just braised bison this week, also from a local farm. It was incredible.
                                                      http://www.njbison.com

                                                      1. re: Caralien
                                                        r
                                                        rtms RE: Caralien Nov 3, 2009 04:50 AM

                                                        This discussion shifted from non-teflon cookware to the hazards of eating beef.

                                                        I checked out some non-telfon baking pans 'cause they were BOGO. The instructions on the baking pans recommended properly preparing the pans for baking which negated my purpose of buying them.

                                                        I'm interested in non-teflon pans but am happy to cook eggs etc. in regular pans and simply clean the pan. I still have an old teflon non-stick pan but I use it because I like the size and will be looking for a replacement.

                                                  2. p
                                                    plnelson RE: alexa52 Jan 25, 2010 08:04 AM

                                                    The Green Pan makers talk a lot about what's NOT in Thermolon, but not about what IS in it. Who knows what chemicals it might be putting in your food? These days it's naive to just trust companies, and there's a lot of "greenwashing" going on.

                                                    So there is no way to assess its safety without independent tests. The pans are made in the PRC which has a terrible safety record WRT toxic chemicals. I would stay with cast-iron or recent glazed enamel pans (some pre-1990's glazes leeched lead or cadmium), until someone tests Thermolon.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: plnelson
                                                      d
                                                      dok RE: plnelson Mar 21, 2011 03:02 PM

                                                      Check the Patent at:

                                                      http://www.uspto.gov/web/patents/pato...

                                                      1. re: dok
                                                        j
                                                        jshawn2 RE: dok Mar 21, 2011 04:47 PM

                                                        "Heating nonstick cookware above 500°F (260°C) can discolor the surface of the cookware or cause it to lose some of its nonstick properties. Since butter, fats and cooking oils start to smoke at 400°F (204°C), overcooked foods would most likely burn to an inedible state before the nonstick coating would be affected. If an empty nonstick cookware pan is accidentally heated above 660°F (348°C), a temperature that far exceeds what food preparation calls for, the nonstick coating may begin to deteriorate."

                                                        Source straight from dupont's website: http://www2.dupont.com/Teflon/en_US/p...

                                                        The surface of glass top stoves on medium-high is about 665°F (352°C). Which exceeds the deterioration temperature of traditional nonstick Teflon.

                                                        Source (jump 7:00 into video): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZOVrY...

                                                        1. re: jshawn2
                                                          alanbarnes RE: jshawn2 Mar 21, 2011 06:15 PM

                                                          Just because the surface of the stove is 665F doesn't mean that the inside of the pan is.

                                                          Seriously, I sometimes cook in a wok that's heated to around 600F (the interior surface, not the burner). It's pretty impressive - oil immediately vaporizing, flames shooting six feet into the air, billowing smoke, the whole bit. I had to switch to leather oven mitts because the cloth ones kept catching fire.

                                                          The guy in the video who was searing a couple of racks of lamb was working with a skillet that had an inside surface temp of maybe 450F. Tops. I mean seriously, he had that meat on the heat for several minutes and there wasn't a visible wisp of smoke.

                                                          Moral of the story: if you're going to superheat a wok over a 60,000 btu burner, then nonstick coatings may become dangerous. Otherwise? Not so much.

                                                    2. a
                                                      alexa52 RE: alexa52 May 4, 2011 09:31 PM

                                                      It's nice to see how long this thread has stayed active. It was hard for me to toss my "non-stick" pans. I have been using cast iron pans quite a bit and learning to enjoy them and how to cook effectively with them. Eggs are an issue-- but getting better with these too!

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: alexa52
                                                        r
                                                        Rick RE: alexa52 May 5, 2011 04:45 AM

                                                        I've had very good luck with a small pat of butter in my cast iron skillet just before I put the egg in.

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