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Teflon Troubles

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Heating Teflon is dangerous because it releases substances containing fluoride, according to Canadian researchers in the July 19, 2001 issue of Natur.

Heating Teflon is dangerous because it releases substances containing fluoride, according to Canadian researchers in the July 19, 2001 issue of Nature. Teflon is the trade name for polymer polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) used in non-stick frying pans and other cookware, electrical insulating tape, combustion engines and medical apparatus. Caged birds have been known to die in kitchen fires involving Teflon cookware due to toxic fumes. However, this article ominously points out that the researchers didn't burn the Teflon, but heated it--to temperatures perceivably within the range of regular cooking. As a result, many chemical fragments were released into the air, some of which don't break down in the environment and contribute to the destruction of the ozone layer. Organofluorine compounds, like their cousins, the organochlorines, are fat soluble; resist detoxification by the liver; accumulate and concentrate in the body's fat cells; often disrupt the endocrine system; and produce highly toxic byproducts when burned, including dioxins and furans.
International Fluoride Information Network Bulletin #327 < fluoridealert.org >

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