There are so many old wives’ tales in the kitchen that it can be difficult to determine which ones have some merit and which ones are completely bogus. For example, did you hear about the one that says you shouldn’t cook with aluminum cookware because it can cause Alzheimer’s disease? As of the writing of this blog, there has been no link between cooking with aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease causation.
Nor has there been a link between grilling and cancer. According to the FDA, you would need 500 times the amount of acrylamide in your diet for it to cause adverse effects to the body’s nervous system. And did you know that microwaves don’t actually affect the nutrients in food. They simply make food hotter faster.
One of those old wives’ tales that has been out there for some time is that nonstick coating made from fluoropolymers, like PTFE, is bad for you. We’re happy to report that this is a common myth. We’re not sure how the myth started, but it probably has something to do with inhaling fumes when the coating breaks down. And there is some truth to this, but it has been highly misrepresented.
First and foremost, PFOA is no longer used in the process of making PTFE, and if it is, it is removed by manufacturers in the curing process for applying the nonstick coating to the cookware. There is no chance that you will be exposed to PFOA if you are cooking with cookware that has a PTFE coating. Manufacturers are bound by very stringent food regulations to ensure this.
In addition to that, the melting point for PTFE is as high as 644°F. Once it gets to this point, the PTFE will begin to degrade, and it can cause toxic fumes to enter the air. Although this may seem scary, the effects of these fumes when inhaled by humans are not as bad as you might think. In the event that you would inhale these fumes, you could experience flu-like symptoms for a day or so.
However, the chances of being exposed to these fumes are almost nonexistent as most cooking applications won’t allow cause temperatures to get that high. You would also need very poor ventilation in the kitchen to be exposed to the fumes, so the only time exposure could be possible would be in a laboratory or a kitchen where many pots are being used at once. Therefore, you should feel safe using cookware coated with fluoropolymers.
Cookware is just one way fluoropolymers are used for everyday items. For more information on fluoropolymer tubing and its many different applications, we encourage you to check out our fluoropolymer products today.