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Cookware

How Safe Is the New Teflon?

obillo | Feb 22, 202006:03 AM     34

The safety of non-stick cookware coatings is a vexed question. Anyone interested in this issue should look at “The Devil We Know,” a documentary on Netflix. Teflon was made with Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), also known as C-8, and DuPont used it for decades. Epidemiologists found it causative of tumors, cancers, high cholesterol and other illnesses to its workers and to people who drank water contaminated by DuPont effluent. Despite losing a class-action lawsuit that proved DuPont knew about the dangers, PFOA/C-8 use continued until 2013, when something called Gen-X was substituted. Gen-X may be just as problematical, if the tumor-ridden rats in DuPont’s own study of Gen-X’s effects are any indication. The new Teflon is also used in T-Fal cookware. I’m not posing as a scientist or other kind of expert, but I have enough professional experience in journalism to say that the documentary, produced by BBC Storyville, is an even-handed, level-headed, non-hysterical work of professional journalism. It would also be well to net-search the question of non-stick safety in general, which will yield plenty assurances of safety, at least of present-day Teflon, and enthusiastic support by many restaurant personnel.

A related question is what do we know about other non-stick cookware coatings—the stuff on all those copper-colored pans that have flooded the market, and the ceramic coatings, which resemble old-fashioned graniteware, that go under such names as Cera-Stone and StoneCoat (“with Diamond Infused Technology”). They’re said to be more durable than Teflon, but are they as safe or safer? Any Chowhounds who have experience, please report.

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