Monday, July 13, 2009

Can Teflon on pots cause cancer? What's the risk with microwave use?

Persistent fluorinated compounds have increased dramatically in harbor seals and other animals in San Francisco over the past decade. They have also increased in breast milk. The Swedish government banned the use of these compounds, such as those used in Teflon, and found a dramatic drop in residues in breast milk within a decade of doing so.

There have been some experimental studies indicating that these compounds disrupt the immune system and could contribute to cancer. Because these compounds are so persistent in the environment, the manufacturers reported some of the evidence on their persistence to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) about four years ago. There's a lot of debate about whether or not they could be contributing to a wide range of health problems.

Right now, the Teflon-related compounds are everywhere. They are used to treat draperies and fabrics. A lot of people are working hard on to find less-toxic substitutes. As for the pots, high heat and burning the Teflon should be avoided at all costs. I just don't know if routine use is a problem.


  1. Hi--I applaud the idea of creating a safer home. And, because there's so much misinformation out there about Teflon, I'm not surprised that you are concerned. I'm a representative of DuPont though, and hope you'll let me share some information with you and your readers, so that everyone can make truly informed decisions. Regulatory agencies, consumer groups and health associations all have taken a close look at Teflon. This article highlights what they found -- the bottom line is that you can use Teflon without worry.

    I'd truly be glad to share additional information about it, and appreciate your consideration of this comment. Cheers, Ross.

  2. That's right Ross, be a good little worker bee... Get a life! Dupont is slowly killing us. They have enough money that they can buy anyone out.

  3. reps posting on blogs. looks like a massive budget has been assigned to damage control. don't want another BPA type incident.

  4. Here's a link for our DuPont rep:

  5. One more DuPont-relevant link. "A former engineer for the DuPont company has accused his ex-employer of concealing test results almost two decades ago that showed toxic chemicals leaching out of a paper coating used to give grease resistance to microwave popcorn bags, fast food and candy wrappers, and pizza box liners."