Is Teflon Safe? What you need to know

Is Teflon Healthy?

Is Teflon Safe? When we transition to a healthier lifestyle, we need to become aware of not only what we are eating, but the way we cook and prepare our meals.  If you use Teflon in your house, you need to read this. 

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and don’t get me wrong; I love nothing more than a non-stick fry pan. With no mess, no fuss, and minimal cleaning time what’s not to love?  But we need to be aware of is that Teflon and other non-stick coatings can pose a threat to our health.

According to a investigation by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), within 2-5 minutes on a conventional stovetop, cookware coated with Teflon and other non-stick surfaces can exceed temperatures at which the coating breaks apart and emits toxic particles and gases linked to a number of unknown human illnesses each year.

“At 360°C Teflon pans release at least six toxic gases, including two carcinogens, two global pollutants, and MFA, a chemical lethal to humans at low doses”.

Think you don’t cook at these temperatures?

“These new tests show that cookware exceeds these temperatures and turns toxic through the common act of preheating a pan, on a burner set on high”.

The EWG also linked this study to hundreds of pet bird deaths each year. The toxic fumes released by heated Teflon cooking appliances brings about a condition known as “Teflon toxicosis” where the lungs of exposed birds hemorrhage and fill with fluid leading to suffocation. These fumes have also been linked to “polymer fume fever” in humans. Where we experience symptoms of headaches, chills, backache, and fever. It is still unknown what the long-term effects of this exposure might be.

If this was not bad enough, Dr. Mercola published findings that suggested that PFOA (a carcinogenic chemical used in non-stick cookware) increased the odds of infertility anywhere between 60 to 154 percent. There has also been some very concerning research regarding PFOA and thyroid function.

What should we be cooking with?

•    Teflon
•    Aluminum
•    Copper?

•    Cast iron
•    Stainless steel
•    Glass
•    Pyrex

It’s important to note that no Teflon product has been recalled in the US, Australia or anywhere else. As far as the regulating bodies are concerned, they’re “safe” – as long as you don’t let them overheat. But given that we purchase these products to cook with/heat, and that PCOA (a chemical used in the production process of Teflon) is a known carcinogen, it is enough to have me reaching for the cast iron cookware without hesitation.

Do you cook with Teflon? What are you thoughts?


  1. Bianca

    Hello, just wondering if you know whether Green Pan are safe? They are coated with ‘thermolon’ which they say is made of minerals instead of plastics and therefore does not release toxins.Not sure if there are any other materials used which would pose a threat? Thanks, Bianca

  2. Mark

    “Teflon and what you need to know | An Apple a day” ended up being a remarkable article.
    If solely there were considerably more sites similar to this particular one in the
    actual net. Anyway, many thanks for ur precious time, Mark

  3. Alyse

    Hi Bianca,

    I am currently doing some more research into this for you. I will update you with my findings shortly!

    Alyse x

  4. Tariq

    Hey Alyse,

    what about this new stoneDine fry pan? it claims to be: SAFE, reinforced stone coating
    Made with no harmful chemicals, super tough and makes food taste great. Gourmet flavor without added fats or oils.

  5. Alyse


    I have had a quick look at the website and it does mention they don’t use any PFOA’s in their coating which is a plus, but it doesn’t list any other ingredients. Remember, a lot of these companies use chemicals that are perfectly safe… until they are heated. I have emailed them for more information. Hopefully they will get back to me soon.

    Alyse x


  1. Detoxifying your Life in 12 simple steps | An Apple a day - [...] using stainless steel fry-pans. Avoid the use of Teflon and other non-stick surfaces. Avoid the use of a [...]

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Meet Alyse

I’m a qualified Nutritionist who believes an evidence-based approach to modern nutrition is severely under-rated. Patients are so often left in the dark when it comes to health-care and as a firm believer in the old saying “knowledge is power”, my ultimate goal is to provide my readers, students and patients with clear and actionable advice that ultimately helps you reach your full potential.