Dangerous Cooking?

Amy (from her wise and wonderful dad) sent some information on some developments related to non-stick cooking surfaces made with DuPont’s Teflon. I love cooking, irregardless of Micah suggesting I cook “strangely”. But I do, predominantly, use non-stick surfaces.

It seems that our non-stick cooking pans might be a little dangerous for us. The EPA, even under a more “conservative” administration, is digging into DuPont about its Teflon product’s manufacture and effects, mostly focusing on the use of PFOA – a primary chemical used in the product.

PFOA, originally was supplied by 3M Corporation to DuPont, but 3M stopped making it around 2000 – at which point DuPont began making it themselves.

PFOA has been demonstrated a carcinogen in rats, but DuPont says nothing indicates it is in humans.

Animals have been dying around the manufacturing plant, a couple women working at DuPont have given birth to babies with facial defects similar to those exhibited in the rats, and DuPont has settled a lawsuit for over $300 million dollars by the local residents near the manufacturing plant – but they contend there is no risk to humans.

Interestingly, PFOA has been found in over 90% of American’s bloodstream (apparently by screening donated blood). Even small amounts is considered bad.

The EPA says there is currently no reason for consumers to stop using Teflon products. However, I think I’m going to start phasing out the non-stick stuff.

Here are some related sites:

EPA seeks review of Teflon ingredient

U.S. Officials Accuse DuPont of Concealing Teflon Ingredient’s Health Risk

Dupont Denies Poisoning Consumers with Teflon Products

DuPont settles water pollution case for $300M

Honestly, I don’t believe it’s wise to limit punative damages. We have to make sure that’s it’s more costly for companies to give us life threatening things. Whether Teflon itself is dangerous to have on cooking gear, I have no idea. But it’s always irritated me, using non-stick surfaces. It’s always felt like cheating. Time to start re-seasoning my cast iron. Honestly, it’s more flavourful anyway.