What is Teflon®?
Teflon® is a brand name and a registered trademark of DuPont. Teflon® is known for being non-stick, stain resistant, durable, and reliable. The brand has a 40-year history in non-stick cookware, and consumers associate Teflon® with bringing convenience and easy care to their everyday lives.
What kinds of products are made with Teflon®?
Teflon® products are used for a variety of applications, including cooking, apparel, automotive, household, personal care and industrial use.
Are Teflon® products safe?
Yes, Teflon® non-stick products are safe. Prior to market introduction, DuPont non-stick coatings were subjected to studies at the DuPont Haskell Laboratory for Health & Environmental Sciences. Cooks in more than 40 countries around the world have purchased and used billions of pots and pans with DuPont non-stick coatings. Over the past 40 years, there is only one published account of a minor health effect, reversible flu-like symptoms, as a result of severely overheating non-stick cookware.
Does Teflon® non-stick coated cookware contain PFOA?
Studies by DuPont and others, using FDA standard testing methods, found no detectable levels of PFOA in non-stick coatings used for cookware – including those sold under the Teflon® brand.
However, according to a recently published study conducted by researchers at the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA), PFOA was detected in minute quantities in cookware using extreme and abusive test methods – methods that do not reflect what happens when consumers use cookware. The quantities of PFOA detected through these extreme measures were too small to measure migration of the PFOA out of the cookware. Published, peer-reviewed research clearly shows that cookware is safe for consumer use.
Consumers can use their cookware with complete confidence.
Are all non-stick cookware coatings made with Teflon®?
No. Consumers frequently use the term “Teflon” to refer to any non-stick coating. However, Teflon® is a DuPont -owned registered trademark for non-stick coatings and other products. Other companies make non-stick coatings that are marketed under different brand names. While non-stick coatings may vary somewhat, most are based on the same basic materials – known as fluoropolymers.
What is the difference between Teflon® fluoropolymers and Teflon® fluorotelomers?
Teflon® fluoropolymers are industrial materials used primarily in automotive, electronics, chemical processing, and aerospace industries, as well as in some consumer applications such as cookware and textiles. Fluorotelomers are used in a wide range of applications, some of which may use the Teflon® brand name. These include carpet care products, textiles, and coatings.
What are the benefits of Teflon® fluoropolymers?
Teflon® fluoropolymers are known for their smoothness, non-stick and anti-electrostatic properties, which are useful in various manufacturing processes. Fluoropolymers are well known for their use on frying pans and other cookware, because they have high heat resistance and non-stick properties. In addition, fluoropolymers help reduce pollution from heavy industries such as chemical processing or power generation, protecting both people and the environment. Fluoropolymers enable the manufacture of small, high-speed computer chips that are core to the information technology benefits people expect at work and at home. Telecommunications cable insulated with fluoropolymers helps reduce risk of fire and harm to people and buildings.
What are the benefits of Teflon® fluorotelomers?
Fluorotelomers help provide surface protection products that make healthcare safer, reduce the environmental impact of consumer product use, and contribute to an overall easier quality of life. Alternative materials—even alternative fluorinated materials—simply cannot provide the same quality, reliability, functionality and value in use as fluorotelomers.
Below are some examples of the benefits of fluorotelomers, some of which may use the Teflon® brand:
Teflon® fluorotelomers help carpet fibers repel stains and soil and reduce their ability to penetrate carpet fibers, so your carpet stays cleaner longer.
Teflon® fluorotelomers keeps fabrics looking newer longer with the innovative generation of stain protection. Teflon® fluorotelomers provide advanced stain protection for apparel, home furnishings, natural leather, suede and more without changing the look and feel of the products.
DuPont fluorosurfactants are highly effective repellants against a wide range of oils and greases, and are used for many applications including food packaging or molded products such as paper plates or cups.
Fire Fighting Foam
DuPont is the largest supplier of fluorosurfactants for fire fighting foams, a key industrial material used to aid today’s fire safety and protection technologies.
DuPont fluorotelomers help provide barrier protection against bodily fluids and pathogens for nonwoven medical garments while maintaining the garment’s breathability and comfort. Garments with fluorotelomers help control disease and thus protect 50 million patients and healthcare providers each year.
DuPont fluorotelomers are used in paints, printing inks and lubricants to reduce surface tension, improve finish quality or provide a protective, stain and soil resistant surface.
What are health experts saying about non-stick cookware?
The American Heart Association recommends cooking with “non-stick cookware so you can cook with a minimum of oil or vegetable oil spray” and“create a healthier diet without losing out on flavor.” Also, the National Stroke Association recommends using non-stick cookware: “If sautéing something, use nonstick cookware and a non-stick spray.” Karen Benedek, a leading advisor to government and appliance manufacturers on cooking safety, says “In over 70 percent of range top fires, it’s the oil, fat, grease or food itself that ignites. The less fat, the smaller the fire. Because non-stick cookware requires less fat for cooking, it can help reduce dangers in the kitchen.”
What happens if I overheat my Teflon® non-stick coated cookware?
At high temperatures, the quality of the coating may begin to deteriorate – it may discolor or lose its non-stick quality. This can begin to occur at temperatures above 500ºF (260°C). If heated to an extremely high temperature, the coating may begin to decompose and give off fumes. Fats, butter, or cooking oil will begin to scorch and smoke at about 400°F (204°C). DuPont non-stick coatings will not begin to significantly decompose until temperatures exceed about 660°F (349°C) – well above the smoke point for cooking oil, fats or butter. It is therefore unlikely that decomposition temperatures for non-stick cookware would be reached while cooking without burning food to an inedible state. For more information on safety tips in the kitchen, please visit our Cooking Safety page for guidelines on safe cooking with non-stick cookware.
What if I accidentally eat particles of Teflon® non-stick coatings?
Teflon® cookware is formulated and quality tested to resist peeling or chipping, which will only occur if cookware is misused. However, in the event that particles from Teflon® cookware are accidentally eaten, there is no danger. These particles are non-toxic. If eaten, they pass directly through the body and are not absorbed. The FDA has stated that eating Teflon® particles does not pose a health hazard. For more information on Teflon®, please visit www.teflon.com.
Are there steps I can take to make sure I am using non-stick cookware safely?
Yes, it is important for consumers to learn about safe cooking practices in the kitchen. Please visit our Cooking Safety page for guidelines on safe cooking with non-stick cookware.
Independent Studies Show No Detectable Levels of PFOA in Cookware Using Teflon® Nonstick Coatings
Studies by DuPont and others, using U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standard testing methods, found no detectable levels of PFOA in nonstick coatings used for cookware – including those sold under the Teflon® brand. However, according to a published study conducted by researchers at the FDA, PFOA was detected in minute quantities in cookware using extreme and abusive test methods – methods that do not reflect what happens when consumers use cookware. The quantities of PFOA detected through these extreme measures were too small to measure migration of the PFOA out of the cookware.
The China General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection & Quarantine (GAQSIQ), the Danish Technological Institute and the Environ Consumer Article Study (sponsored by DuPont) all confirm that there would be no quantifiable exposure to PFOA from the use of non-stick cookware. Independent scientists and governmental agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration conclude that cookware with nonstick coatings are safe for consumer use. This includes Teflon® brand nonstick coatings.