Do Teflon & PET Cause Cancer?

Discussion in 'Adrian Wong' started by Adrian Wong, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Had a really interesting debate with folks at my condo. Thought I should share it with you guys, and see what you all think about it (the topic, NOT the arguing! :naughty: ).

    If you have any opinions / facts to help clarify the situation one way or another, do post them! :beer:
  2. peaz

    peaz ARP Webmaster Staff Member

    LOL. Typical malaysian style 'argument'

    IMHO, if teflon pans are a source of danger, I'm sure the links would have been apparent by now since teflon pans have been aroundsince 1946. (

    Here's an interesting exerpt
    Therefore, it's not the pan that is dangerous but the chemical compound producing it.

    Although I can't say it's 100% safe (nothing is anyway), I'd probably worry more about getting rid of hydrogenated oil and poly-saturated oil and exercise more and not smoke at all.

    If anyone argues this and is a smoker... well, i rest my case. Seriously.
  3. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Well, those against PTFE seem to have two arguments.

    1. Ingesting PTFE flakes can cause cancer.

    2. Heating PTFE-coated pans to 350oC will release carcinogenic fumes / substances into the food being cooked.
  4. peaz

    peaz ARP Webmaster Staff Member

    PTPE itself is so inert that it'll do less harm then breathing the smokey air imho.

    as for exceeding 350oC. i doubt it's possible la. pans are built to transfer just the right amount of heat to the cooking surface... otherwise, why the heck does those pans cost like hundreds to thousands even!

    Of course, do go and buy those no-brand RM20 teflon pans la. those pans would probably not have a well designed thermodynamics and would probably have 'hot spots' that could potentially heat up that high. but then again, it's not likely to heat above 300oC so easily.
  5. peaz

    peaz ARP Webmaster Staff Member

    Oh and perhaps just to add as well, teflon pans are not supposed to be used like a chinese wok! They are meant for different cooking styles! There's a reason why chinese woks are chinese woks. :D
  6. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    I guess the question everyone is arguing about is whether we will achieve a temperature of 350oC when we cook... or like ricster said above, when you heat up the wok before pouring in the oil.
  7. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Hehe.. Yeah, Chinese woks do not have Teflon coatings because the style of cooking will destroy the coating very quickly.

    Besides, they don't need to be non-stick.
  8. Trinity

    Trinity Little Kiki Staff Member

    This was big news here in the US a few years ago. They called it "the teflon flu" Flu-like symptioms caused by breathing fumes from a very overheated pan. Never heard about any cancer risk before.

    No problem for me, I stick with my old iron skillets. And stainless steel pans and pots.:)

    Now the big "deal" is "Pop corn lung" from breathing the fumes from microwave popcorn...:faint:
  9. pyroboy1911

    pyroboy1911 Newbie

    lol, my chemistry assignment for last semester is on teflon. apparently, it is not teflon itself which sticks to the pan, it is stuck using a kind of adhesive. and like wat peaz said, dun try to use teflon under very very high temperaqture, as the adhesive layer may lose it's strength nad condition. as for the danger of teflon, i did see all those argument, but did not look any further, since my topic is related to how teflon stick to the pan and not the issue regarding teflon.

    about the fumes, i always leave the pan on the stove, then go watch tv until i realize the air is kinda smoky, yet i'm still alive rite now...:haha:
  10. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Teflon flu??? Must go check it out online. :think:

    Wow.. There's even popcorn lung?? Seriously?? :shock:
  11. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Yeah, it's very, very hard to bond Telfon to any metal. They need some kind of adhesive to do it.
  12. Trinity

    Trinity Little Kiki Staff Member

    Yeah, Just google it... What next?:faint:
  13. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Got it. As expected, it refers to the fumes released when PTFE is heated to 350oC and beyond. So, again, the biggest question is.. do we really heat the pan to that temperature when we cook?

    As for popcorn lung, it is said to be "caused by inhalation of airborne diacetyl — a chemical used to produce the butter-like flavoring in microwave popcorn and in many other foods such as candy and potato chips". So, it's more of an occupational hazard for workers at the popcorn factory.
  14. The_YongGrand

    The_YongGrand Just Started

    PET bottles are dangerous - they can leech into water. And can bring long term effects like cancer.

    So I changed my daily drinking bottles to PolyCarbonate. Still going strong until now.

    Also, my chemistry is getting extremely rusty, until I have to relearn again. What's exactly a PET made from? :haha:
  15. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Eh, I don't think that's true la... How can plastic leech into the water? Take a look at this link -

    PET = Polyethylene terephthalate.
  16. The_YongGrand

    The_YongGrand Just Started

    I heard it from other sources, and another source said it isn't. Strange. But it's really bad to put hot stuff into those polystrene boxes (rice box) or cups. :shifty:

    Uh... your condo has a user forum? :wicked:
  17. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Well, reports are it's not possible. Again, PET bottles have been in use for many, many years now. If there's a correlation with cancer, or any other diseases, we would have seen the effects by now. :think:

    Yup! :)
  18. peaz

    peaz ARP Webmaster Staff Member

    Actually, you are suppose to heat up the pan before putting in the oil anyway :) If you use Tefal's pans, there's an indicator that tells you when to put in the oil. And if you can notice it. It takes a while to reach the right temperature.

    The point here is, pans are designed not to immediately heat up to >300oC. It would eventually if you leave the pan on the fire without oil or something else to transfer the heat to. That's just :nuts: trying to kill your cookwares.
  19. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Yeah, there's a hot spot indicator. Hmm.. I thought that's just to indicate when the pan is hot enough to start cooking? I think you can put the oil in at any time. :think:
  20. Trinity

    Trinity Little Kiki Staff Member

    "That's just :nuts: trying to kill your cookwares.[/QUOTE]"

    Just get iron skillet!:)

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