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Will Teflon release toxic substances?


Chuangzhi Coating

The emergence of non-stick pans provides conditions for healthy cooking with less oil, and also makes it easier to clean cookware. However, as the non-stick pan comes into life, the voice of doubts about the safety of its coating has never ceased. Nonstick coatings, especially Teflon coatings, will they release toxic substances during use?

Polytetrafluoroethylene has very stable physical and chemical properties at room temperature and under normal conditions, but considering that cookware is used in high temperature environments, its safety at high temperatures is the focus of our attention. According to DuPont's data [1], cookware using Teflon non-stick coating will not change in the temperature range from room temperature to 260°C (550°F), but when the temperature exceeds 260°C, the coating Gradually change to an unstable state, and decomposition will occur when the temperature exceeds 350°C (660°F).
In daily cooking methods, stir-frying at a higher temperature usually only reaches a temperature of about 200°C. Even if the method of frying is used, the oil temperature generally does not exceed 250°C. Therefore, in normal cooking, don't worry about it. The coating decomposes to release harmful substances. Moreover, the smoke point of common edible oil is mostly between 200°C and 250°C. If you really burn the pot to a temperature high enough for the coating to decompose, the first thing you need to consider is that harmful substances will be generated by the decomposition of fats. Such eating habits are natural. It's not healthy either.

If the Teflon coating is really overheated, the smoke released by inhalation may cause flu-like symptoms, including chills, headache, fever, and cough. This condition is called "polymer smoke fever" ( Polymer fume fever). These "polymer fumes" may also cause more serious harm to certain birds, which can lead to bird deaths [2]. However, this happens only when the coating material is heated to 300~450℃, and it is difficult to do unless the non-stick pan is burned in the air for a long time. It is rare for non-stick pans to cause "polymer smoke fever". One such rare case was published in the 2012 "BMJ Case Reports", but the conditions for its occurrence are never It belongs to the category of "normal use": the person fell asleep when the pot was going to prepare lunch, and it took 5 hours to sleep, only to find that the kitchen was surrounded by smoke when he woke up [3]. Under normal conditions of use, there is no need to worry about the occurrence of "polymer fume heat".

Therefore, in the daily use process, as long as the cooking temperature is properly controlled, there is no need to worry that Teflon will release toxic substances and affect our human health. Instead of worrying about whether Teflon will endanger human health, it is better to spend more energy on improving cooking methods, eating habits, and dietary structure. This is also more helpful for improving health.