The Dangers of Teflon

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sirdarksol

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The Carcinogen post made me think about this, and thought you all should know about this (and pass it along, too).
Teflon, the popular anti-stick coating for cookware, is toxic when heated to a high enough temperature. Unfortunately, this temperature is actually below the typical frying point.
As far as I have been able to discover, there has been no recorded instance of any effect on human physiology, but there have been other issues. Canaries, for example, have died. In fact, the DuPont (I think it's DuPont that makes Teflon) website at one point cautioned against keeping birds in the kitchen while cooking on Teflon.
In old mining days, canaries were used to discover gas leaks before the gas built up enough to kill miners. So if canaries die, it usually means that there's something harmful to humans, though not yet in enough quantities to kill.
Another thing to think about is anyone who's keeping their fish tank(s) in or near the kitchen is gas exchange. Anything that's in the air can also get into the tank (which is why a lot of people suggest not keeping a tank in the kitchen), harming the fish.

This does not mean that you can never use Teflon safely. Keeping it over a lower heat mitigates the effect. Using it for liquids (such as a pan of pasta sauce, or anything that's being boiled in water) seems to present no problem. The only potential issue I could see here is if the Teflon is getting released into the liquid. My wife and I still have a Teflon pot for pasta, potatoes, soups, etc...
If you do a lot of cooking in which you're searing food, frying eggs, that kind of thing, you might want to consider getting a different type of pan for that.
 
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Amorinthe

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What I don't understand is how, after an investigation began by the EPA in 2004, this is still such a commonly used chemical treatment. They've linked birth defects, cancer, and other ailments to this leaching into groundwater and air, but still, nothing.

Where is Erin Brokovich when you need her?
 
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sirdarksol

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For the same reason that 3M is being allowed to continue making chemicals that leach into the groundwater in the Twin Cities Metro Area, DuPont is rich. They can buy off a lot of people. Aside from that, as long as people continue to buy the product, it's hard to stop it from being made.
 
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COBettaCouple

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exactly.. politicians pretty much are partisan EXCEPT for things like bribes & greed. the last thing they care about is us.
 
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Xenomorph

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Tobbacco.... petrol.... all these things that are bad for us but they're legal... do we really want to debate whether or not we want to be governed for our own good despite what we want? :;b
 
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sirdarksol

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Not necessarily. That's one of the biggest reasons for the post. If we spread information about it, then fewer people will purchase it, lessening its impact on the environment.
Information and education are the two most powerful weapons in the world. If enough people are educated, amazing results can be achieved.
 
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COBettaCouple

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one thing about greed.. it's usually the motivation for a company or industry to change.. they might not change for any good reason, but they will if it means money in their pockets.
 
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griffin

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sirdarksol said:
Not necessarily. That's one of the biggest reasons for the post. If we spread information about it, then fewer people will purchase it, lessening its impact on the environment.
Information and education are the two most powerful weapons in the world. If enough people are educated, amazing results can be achieved.
I think this is good in theory. but when it comes to reality - not so much :/
 
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sirdarksol

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You don't think so?
The peregrine falcon has recovered amazingly from being nearly poisoned to death by DDT. The only reason to stop using DDT was to save animals like the peregrine falcon. The information of the plight of the falcon spread, laws were passed, and farmers changed pesticides. (either before or after the laws were passed)
McDonalds was purchasing beef raised in cleared South American jungles. As that information spread, fewer and fewer people ate at McDonalds. The company was forced to purchase their beef from more reputable sources. To make such a huge company make such a huge change takes a lot of buying power.
Don't get me wrong, many people are so self-centered that if the information you're giving them doesn't affect them, they won't pay attention to it. Part of spreading knowledge and educating people is convincing the student that something matters to them.
 
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Xenomorph

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At the risk of sounding snide, which is not my intention: You are correct, these thisngs were brought to their attention, customers started boycotting, and the companies were forced to change policy thus saving the animals and their habitats... It does work!

The government outlawed the use of DDT because it persisted into our food products and caused illness in humans (TIME MAGAZINE April 11, 1949)- we know full well that petroleum bi-products are carcinogenic, but in reality no government is going to outlaw it's use, this means it's up to us as individuals to make an impact. So let's all immediatly stop using petrol and electricity so that the companies will lose revenue and be forced to change their policy thus saving our habitat... like griffin said - not in reality. Government might legislate against the use of teflon if it can be shown to be harmfull enough, or not... do you think we will?
clear.gif
 
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COBettaCouple

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I think the bottom line is every politician has a price and they do what puts the most money in their pockets, right or wrong, good or bad.. they won't do something good to protect the citizens, but they'll do it if they can afford another mistress or fancy car.
 
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griffin

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Xenomorph said:
we know full well that petroleum bi-products are carcinogenic, but in reality no government is going to outlaw it's use, this means it's up to us as individuals to make an impact. So let's all immediatly stop using petrol and electricity so that the companies will lose revenue and be forced to change their policy thus saving our habitat... like griffin said - not in reality. Government might legislate against the use of teflon if it can be shown to be harmfull enough, or not... do you think we will?
clear.gif
FLBettaCouple said:
I think the bottom line is every politician has a price and they do what puts the most money in their pockets, right or wrong, good or bad.. they won't do something good to protect the citizens, but they'll do it if they can afford another mistress or fancy car.
sirdarksol - I think the above quote more show what i'm trying to say than what I think you interpreted what I wriote as. I know it's not impossible for change to occur, I just don't think it usually happens in reality.
 
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sirdarksol

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Government would not have done anything had the American public not shown that they cared about DDT.
Government had nothing to do with the McDonald's incident.
As I said, it is a matter of convincing people that it's worth their time to worry about. No, you're not going to get people to stop using electricity, I agree with that, but a growing number of people in the Midwest are paying extra money per KWH to fund wind energy instead of the coal that usually provides our electricity. There are also a number of people here who are using a higher concentration of ethanol in their gas tanks. In California, plans are in the works to build a highway that can be traversed, end to end, by hydrogen powered car, with fueling stations along the way. The word is getting out, things are changing.
Some people expect immediate results from change. Things don't happen this way. It doesn't mean things aren't changing. Perhaps not as fast as we'd like, but it happens.
I don't expect the American government to do anything about Teflon. That wasn't my purpose, and I never said it was.
My intention was to let others around here know about it. It's up to you to decide whether it's something worth considering or not.
 
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Xenomorph

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clear.gif clear.gif ok, I've gone back and re-read your original post andI've come to the conclusion that the thread you started as a nice conversation quickly turned into a heated debate that got a little off-topic... clear.gif clear.gif The point you made was a fair and reasonable one, and I'm certainly going to give it some consideration!

Another thing to think about is anyone who's keeping their fish tank(s) in or near the kitchen is gas exchange. Anything that's in the air can also get into the tank (which is why a lot of people suggest not keeping a tank in the kitchen), harming the fish.
I always thought people shouldn't keep their tanks in the kitchen because of temperature fluctuation and evaporated grease (that gets on EVERYTHING!) settling on the water surface suffocating the fish - not to mention the psychological trauma of witnessing their distant cousins being grilled for dinner!
 

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sirdarksol

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I agree, Xenomorph, with pretty much everything you've said in that post.
It's not a good idea to keep an aquarium in the kitchen (for exactly the reasons you listed. I just cleaned the cupboards in my kitchen, and the layer of grease on them was absolutely disgusting. Imagine that stuff gumming up your filter), but that doesn't stop people from doing so. I know one couple that is keeping their fish in the kitchen because they don't have room anywhere else in their apartment.
For that matter, this was also directed at people with other pets. I know that some rodents can have pretty susceptible respiratory systems like canaries.
 
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COBettaCouple

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and we've recently had a member figure out that ammonia was getting into the water from ammonia in the air via a cleaning product. we sometimes forget how the air around the tank can affect the water in it. our little pets are definitely more susceptible than we are to quite a lot of things we put in the air.
 
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