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Toxins + Nonstick Ceramic Pans

Posting date: 8th February 2011 11:50

Non stick Ceramic Cookware - some details on PTFE, PFOA and PFOS which ceramic non stick coatings are designed to avoid

I am sure many of you will have noticed the great increase in availability of ceramic non stick cookware coatings such as the Thermolon (TM) coating (used on the Green Pan ranges and now introduced on a new Mauviel cookware range and on the non stick Demeyere cookware).

I have been trying to get to the bottom of all the different options of non stick ceramic cookware so I can advise customers. My research is still on going but I thought the following guides to the 3 main chemicals which ceramic non stick coatings seek to avoid, may help customers understand the health issues better. The question of which ceramic cookware to go for still needs to be answered and I will update the blog when I have finished my research. The 3 chemicals are:

PTFE - Polytetrafluoroethylene

According to Wikipedia "PTFE is most well known by the DuPont brand name Teflon."...."While PTFE is stable and nontoxic, it begins to deteriorate after the temperature of cookware reaches about 260 °C (500 °F), and decomposes above 350 °C (662 °F). These degradation byproducts can be lethal to birds, and can cause flu-like symptoms in humans."

Wikipedia entry on PTFE

PFOA - Perfluorooctanoic acid

PFOA is a form of the ammonium salt and is used in the manufacturing process of PTFE and has been detected in some PTFE products, although these products are being or have been phased out. So SKK Cookware, or Swiss Diamond Cookware, for example have no PFOA remaining in the pans at the end of the manufacturing process..

Wikipedia entry on PFOA

Here is a link to a Health Protection Agency overview of PFOS and PFOA which thankfully has a 2 page summary!: HPA Toxicological Overview

PFOS - Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid

Here is a wikipedia definition Wikipedia entry on PFOS

I believe that PFOS can be used as an alternative to PFOA in the manufacturing process but I have rarely come across it in technical specifications on cookware. The sceptics say that as PFOA has been banned, then manufacturers are simply replacing it with PFOS or another equivilent perfluorinated chemicals which is no better for human health or the environment

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