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Question

13 Apr 2006

Silicon baking trays
Hi
Is there a health risk using silicon baking trays, bread tins etc like there is with teflon. All the reseach I have done say there is none but maybe I am not looking in the right places.

How dangerous is teflon if you use it about three times a week ??

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Expert
EnviroHealth expert
envirohealth expert

01 Jan 0001

Silicon kitchenware is considered safe.

As for Teflon, there is concern about the chemical PFOA, which is used to make Teflon-coated cookware (and other products). Scientists know that PFOA is entering the environment and entering people’s blood, and suspect – but aren’t sure – that it may cause cancer in humans. They also don’t know if or how much cookware is to blame for it entering the environment and our bodies. Studies are underway to find out more about this issue, and there should be clearer recommendations in the next few years. The good news is that manufacturers are starting to phase PFOA out of their production processes.

In the meantime, it’s considered to be safe to continue to use your Teflon cookware. What is important, though, is to not exceed the temperature recommendations for its use i.e. don’t heat it above 230 degrees Celsius (or about 450 degrees F), because it’s at these high temperatures that chemicals can off-gas from the surface. So it’s obviously important not to leave non-stick pans unattended on a stove, where they can quickly dry out and reach high temperatures. If oil smokes in the pan, it's too hot. Also, look after your cookware: don’t use metal utensils or steel wool on it, wash it gently, and don’t stack other pots and pans on top of it. If it’s starting to look old and worn, it’s probably time to replace it.

You can also simply use your Teflon cookware less often, by investing in some alternatives e.g. anodized aluminium, stainless steel, cast iron, ceramic. As a general rule, it’s best to replace any cookware once it shows signs of getting worn out i.e. the surface gets damaged.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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