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Old 12-16-2009, 05:55 PM
350 posts, read 3,429,194 times
Reputation: 526


I was at a work function the other day (holiday party) which was a buffet. There was an omelette station there, and the cooks were cooking up omelettes in Teflon pans. The room was small, and it was smoky from making the omelettes. There were about 100 people there, so about 100 omelettes were made. I immediately began having respiratory symptoms after being in the room for 5 minutes. The symptoms have continued several hours after leaving the buffet. I know that my symptoms are directly connected to the fumes emanating from the Teflon pans. There is a disorder called "polymer fume fever/Teflon fever" that causes flu like illnesses in some people using Teflon pans when these pans get overheated. I saw the cooks keeping the Teflon pans on the open flame with nothing in them--i.e. the pans were empty. I was in the room an hour, and must have inhaled a lot of the fumes from the pans. My co-workers were also complaining of headaches during and after the event.

I am worried about the levels of Teflon I inhaled during this event. And then I started thinking about the cooks, who were standing there making the omelettes. I was at a table about 15 feet away from the omelette station.

I personally do not use Teflon cookware at home, but I am worrying about the fumes I inhaled and what kind of damage it has done to my lungs, after this holiday event.
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Old 05-10-2010, 06:16 PM
5 posts, read 6,996 times
Reputation: 17
YES! Teflon is deadly! Web search for "teflon respiratory illness"

Many people have no idea that using Teflon pans releases extremely toxic gases. During the holidays more canaries and parrots die as families pull out their Teflon gourmet sets. In the past mine workers used canaries to check air quality in the mines. Their small lung capacity means that these birds are much more sensitive to toxins. Hence their use by mine workers. If the canary became ill or died, things became quite dangerous for mine workers. Non-stick gases such Polytetrafluorethylene re leased by Teflon cause lung haemorrhages and are often deadly for canaries. That is why non-stick pans are silent killers because you don’t notice them. Extremely toxic non-stick layers include DuPont’s Teflon brand, as well as Silverstone, Fluron, Supra, Excalibur, Greblon, Xylon, Duracote, Resistal, Autograph and T-Fal. A little bit of fat or oil in a stainless steel pan or in an enamelled pan is much healthier and much less taxing for the environment.

And this:

Overheated Teflon can break down, causing particles of PTFE to enter the air. Inhaled particles of PTFE can cause a mild respiratory illness in humans and other mammals, but can be rapidly fatal to pet birds. Teflon begins to break down at 536 Fahrenheit and rapidly enters the surrounding air at approximately 600 to 650 F. This temperature is only likely to be reached if Teflon pans are used over high heat or are boiled dry. Most veterinarians recommend that you not use Teflon pans at all if you have pet birds.
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Old 05-11-2010, 05:44 AM
Location: St. Louis
9,457 posts, read 16,404,322 times
Reputation: 13154
Yes, I've heard the stuff is bad, so I replaced all mine with cast iron pans and when it's seasoned properly, it's as non-stick as teflon. Sometimes though, it's almost impossible to buy a pan w/o that stuff on it, like cake pans.
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Old 05-12-2010, 04:27 PM
Location: In the real world!
2,178 posts, read 8,219,530 times
Reputation: 2772
I won't have that stuff in my house!

My daughter asked me for Christmas to get her this set of teflon Paula Dean skillets. I told her I would never waste a dime of MY money on that trash but offered to buy her a set of skillets that will outlive her and her kids. Told her teflon wears out and is dangerous, "natural" skillets last forever!

I had heard that it was suppose to be against the law to sell it anymore after some year but forgot what it was, I haven't heard that anymore for a long, long time.

I see they have come out with some newer stuff to replace teflon but who's to say that's any safer? It sure is more expensive!

To the Op, I would have left the room before I stayed in there and exposed myself to that. I would have asked they NOT use teflon and if it continued, I would have left. Obviously, the "cook" isn't much of a cook that they don't know how dangerous teflon is and you DON'T leave it on a fire while it is smoking. That's what I call a "wanna be cook"...
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