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Critics Deny Teflon's Toxicity

Despite compelling evidence of the dangers of PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid), the key ingredient used in manufacturing teflon, the Statistical Assessment Service at George Mason University (STATS) argue that the chemical's risks have been exaggerated.

They also stated that a piece about Teflon in the most recent issue of Mother Jones was "scientifically illiterate."

Among STATS' claims were arguments that while PFOA may be a persistent chemical, it only has a half-life of four years in humans, and also that it is highly unreactive. Their main argument, however, was the lack of current evidence regarding Teflon toxicity.

Statistical Assessment Service (STATS) May 2, 2007

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

This industry proponent's strongest statement for the defense of Teflon is that it was not conclusively shown to cause cancer in animals. Well, this is a fatally flawed argument on a number of points.

First, the animals were not exposed to Teflon in the way that you typically are. It would be difficult to argue against the notion that unheated Teflon is relatively inert and will not likely harm you. However, the problem is that this product is, BY DESIGN, intended to be heated,. And, as such, its toxicity needs to be measured with this function in mind.

But even if it did not cause cancer, we have large numbers of anecdotal reports of people, including the founder of EFT, Gary Craig, who have had serious health problems absolutely disappear once they removed the Teflon cookware from their home.

Additionally, if PFOA is as harmless as STATS argues, then why has the EPA called for a ban on it -- albeit a voluntary one? If it doesn't persist very long in the human body, then why has the presence of PFOA been linked as of late to lower birth weights among newborn babies, who've probably never had contact with coated frying pans or popcorn bags? If they didn't get it from their mothers, then where did it come from?

There's no lack of evidence as far as I am concerned, considering the health problems several patients experienced that suddenly vanished after they got rid of their Teflon-coated cookware.

A huge, wealthy corporation like DuPont can have enormous sway with the federal government, and the EPA in particular. I would think twice before taking STATS' point of view that safety evidence that comes primarily from the manufacturer of a product should be trusted.

In my mind there simply is no justification to continue to use Teflon, or Teflon-like clones, cookware. Find a neighbor or relative you don't like and give them your Teflon pots and pans.  (Just kidding)

Most cookware is something you should be wary of. I've made a quick summary of some of the most common types of cookware and the hazards they present.

Cookware Material

Potential Hazards


PFOA induced potential health hazards -- from your immune system to birthing activities


Is a reactive metal and suspected casual factor in Alzheimer's disease

Stainless steel

Potential likelihood of metal leaching into your food and allergen issues


Due to the possibility of copper caused discomfort, recommended to never have direct contact with your food

If you are considering a cookware alternative you will want to review the inexpensive (and what I believe to be safer) alternative we have been
offering in our store.

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