But looking inward, I wonder if our industry doesn't do the same thing in many cases - what about:
- Eye strain caused by lack of contrast due to our favorite color palette.
- Stress induced by unintelligible workflows.
- Failure to protect a user's privacy.
- Programs that induce RSI.
I realize this is a far cry from polluting the environment with toxins, but shouldn't we at least think about these factors more often?
Advertising is our C8. It pollutes nearly every corner of the web with deception and manipulation. It is the cause of the cancer called click-bait. It is so profitable it has given rise to factories that pump out cheap junk "content", overwhelming anything of merit on the web. Then, to extract even more from the devil in this Faustian bargain, we invade our very customer's privacy, selling our soul twice over.
Most of us avert our eyes from this moral abdication because it funds our high salaries and our get-rich-quick startup schemes. Everyone seems happy with their "free" non-stick pans and waterproof boots, so why spoil the party?
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair
If you agree with me, send me an email. I'm starting a project to whistle blow, to raise awareness, to inspire change.
 Most people will miss this article about C8 because it doesn't stand a chance against all the ad-supported garbage. The Intercept doesn't do click-bait. Journalism, a cornerstone of democracy, is dying. This toxin analogy is sadly too accurate.
> I realize this is a far cry from polluting the environment with toxins, but shouldn't we at least think about these factors more often?
Yes, demand a better work environment, but please don't compare "eye strain caused by lack of contrast due to our favorite color palette" and "Stress induced by unintelligible workflows" with an environmental toxin that never existed until we created it, is now "in the blood of 99.7 percent of Americans", causes cancer and birth defects, and may outlive humanity. Many jobs have some stress on the body or mind or risks to life and limb (manual labor, fire fighting). It is called "work" after all. The fire department is not being evil. Dupont and 3M are. I hope you can see the difference.
I don't work in the chemical industry and other than complaining, I can't effect much change in how it operates. I can however make life better for those using the software I create. As many others have pointed out, there are many more categories. I'll even add another - efficiency. I should create my software to use the least amount of resources possible. Eventually CPU and memory usage equate to power consumed from the grid.
This. Not to mention the malware that hitches rides on ad networks. Adblockers being the new condoms and all that.
C8 and similar compounds pollute the only inhabitable planet we have access to, there's no escape from the pollution. The man-made C8 will remain in the water and soil far longer than any human will be around, but before that it will accumulate in our bodies and poison us. And C8 is just one such compound, how many more are there?
At ~300$ there not cheap, but not only do they help save your hearing they are also less distracting for those around you.
If active noise canceling seems to lower conversation volume, it is because you've convinced yourself it should. No DSP located on your ear can analyze and cancel an unpredictable signal like conversation before it reaches your ear. It can be effective against drone sounds like motors, rushing air, etc. because the same cancellation signal works now as did 100ms ago. This is not true of human speech.
Opt for a pair of well-fitting in-ears. If you have the money, see an audiologist for a custom fit. With high-quality earbuds and a good seal, you can play music at a very low level and still 1) hear all its detail, and 2) not perceive outside sounds.
Noise canceling works by playing back the exact environmental frequencies through the headphones, 180 degrees out of phase. So from the perspective of your ears, noise canceling does lower the absolute volume.
The noise isolation is so strong that I can't even listen to music at higher than half volume without discomfort.
From the American Academy of Ophthalmology:
"Watching televisions, including LCDs and flat screens, can't cause your eyes any physical harm. The same is true for using the computer too much or watching 3-D movies. Your eyes may feel more tired if you sit too close to the TV or spend a lot of time working at the computer or watching 3-D movies, but you can fix that by giving your eyes a rest."
Do you have evidence that computer use was a factor in your development of Blepharitis, or do you think that because of the correlation between the two?
Another rationalization is that longer work hours are somehow mutually beneficial but I find the opposite to be true.
An anecdote: A couple of years ago during a stressful time at work I was fitted for prescription lenses. While being indecisive about choosing frames, I installed f.lux and reduced brightness of my monitors. Never ended up buying glasses, and in a couple of weeks my vision was back to normal. It was just eye strain, and I saved about $300.
Edit: changed "Flux" to "f.lux"
Unfortunately, 35 years of typing in front of a screen has led to trifocals for me (or maybe I would have needed them anyway?).
Is that really going to deter them from doing it again? Where is the real penalty?
> Is that really going to deter them from doing it again? Where is the real penalty?
Stefano Quintarelli, an Italian ISP-owner-turned-ITC-journalist has the nice habit of converting those "huge" fines ("millions of euros!") into equivalent fines for people with normal incomes. In this case he would write
"The equivalent fine for a person with an average income of € 30k per year would had been € 258."
Granted, the more just and commensurate judgement that lumberjack rightly seeks must be paid to the world as a whole, with the workers' share being a function of their damages, as you said. My point is you are focusing on the technical and completely ignoring the moral cry for justice expressed by lumberjack.
What applies to the Car Industry (via Dialogue from Fight Club) applies to the Chemical Industry in Spades. DuPont Knew (or strongly suspected) that C8 & (Teflon) were causing Cancers, Birth Defects etc. But the cost was going to be too high to move away so they all "kicked the can down the road".
Time to sock them with a multi-billion dollar verdict after some of these people are locked up for long periods.
But your point is correct - it's a cost of doing business. You put the cost of the cleanup and being sued against the cost of not polluting in the first place. Sadly this algebra is useful in externalizing hidden costs of pollution.
"Narrator: A new car built by my company leaves somewhere traveling at 60 mph. The rear differential locks up. The car crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside. Now, should we initiate a recall? Take the number of vehicles in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don't do one.
Business woman on plane: Are there a lot of these kinds of accidents?
Narrator: You wouldn't believe.
Business woman on plane: Which car company do you work for?
Narrator: A major one."
It's called the "Hand Formula" and you are only liable for negligence when PL > B, where P is the probability of loss, L is the gravity of loss, and B is the cost of avoiding the risk.
In practice though, it can be hard to argue that sort of thing. It's a little academic.
Refusing to spend $10 to avoid a $5 expected loss is not negligence, it's economic common sense.
(You should still be liable for the loss if someone else is experiencing the risk. You should be liable to compensate them fairly, but it's not negligence).
In fact in a world with scarce risk prevention resources, PL = B is not even a sufficient criteria to say you should spend to prevent the risk, because there might be opportunities to prevent greater losses elsewhere; i.e. you should not be investing to prevent PL = B type risks if there exists PL >>> B type risks. (For a finance analogy, if you are capital-constrained, you don't want to put your money in any investment with a positive ROI, you want to put you money in investments that have the highest ROI.)
In other words, spending $10 to prevent a $10 expected loss risk when there is an opportunity to prevent a $100 expected loss risk for the same expenditure makes no sense.
But since we're not smart enough to cooperate and globally allocate the total risk-prevention budget to minimize losses, locally and in terms of personal responsibility PL = B is a decent rule.
Source - Valukas Report
Disclaimer - I work for GM
So, I got cast irons. It's trivial to keep them seasoned and thus non-stick, and they can take the beating of very high heat -- searing meats -- and any metal utensils or rough substances.
 See the paper linked in another comment, https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10046612
Having said that, I'm really liking the two nonstick ceramic pans I bought a few months ago, and I'm not sure if I'll need to toss them next year, yet.
Really? "Real" nonstick pans (not walmart) sell for something like $40 to $100+ a piece, but cast iron (Lodge Inc, etc) sells for something like $20. So CI works better, last forever, is cheaper, and its less toxic.
Its true that you can buy a pan shaped object from walmart for $5 that doesn't really work, but in all fairness the CI equivalent is the "free to a good home" pile of CI at an estate sale, so CI is still cheaper.
I will say there is one, exactly one use for teflon pans and thats burned cheese or burned eggs. Just something about it chemically that makes it stick to cast iron. Yet meats don't stick, very strange.
Poor quality control in manufacturing, natural crystalline formation defects, excessive impacts in handling, extreme thermal stresses, etc.
Cast iron, being a non-ductile material, in the daily thermal cycling of cooking, any minute microscopic fissure will start to propagate through a process known as metal fatigue, and eventually fail catastrophically.
To some degree, cast iron can be annealed or hardened, depending on your cooking habits. Something I do which I would not recommend to anyone else: I buy cheap cast iron cookware, heat it up red hot and pour cold water in it. If it didn't crack, them I heat it up again in an oven and let it cool down as slowly as possible to anneal any internal stress.
In any case, if the skillet is of great value to you, there are places that actually can repair it for you.
As a last tip, stop practicing skillet abuse and trying to be an iron chef. :-)
There's no need for toxic cookware. Get high quality cast iron and you can give it to your future generations like my grandmother did for me. And if that flakes into your food, it's just iron which your body needs!
But Big Bird is okay in the kitchen? ;-)
Smoke inhalation and Teflon toxicity are really different death mechanisms -- if you're interested, a quick read of the abstracts of articles on mass bird deaths from PTFE toxicity at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10879927 or http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3276392/ is illuminating.
Butter in cast iron is toxic at 260 degrees. Teflon isn't toxic until 280 degrees.
Check out http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4723395
> Abstract: Japanese quail and parakeets were exposed to the pyrolysis products of: (1) commercial fry pans coated with Teflon® finish, (2) plastic fry pan handles, (3) corn oil, and (4) butter. Other materials used in the test were commercial aluminum fry pans and cast iron fry pans. A four-hour Approximate Lethal Temperature (ALT) was determined for each test material for each specie. All products tested were lethal to Japanese quail with ALT's ranging from 260° C for butter in cast iron to 370 °C for a plastic handle in a glass container. The ALT for a fry pan coated with Teflon® finish was 330°C. All products were also lethal to parakeets with ALT's of 260°C for both the pan coated with Teflon® finish plus butter and the cast iron pan plus butter. The ALT for a fry pan coated with Teflon® finish was 280°C.
Dupont and 3M love you.
And a frying pan is mostly metal, it'll get recycled at some point and the teflon burned away anyway.
Remember that Teflon and related products aren't only for stovetop use. There are many non-stick baking sheets and muffin pans as well, and it's not that unusual to cook muffins, scones, cakes, or pizza (esp pizza ) at temperatures above 400. Moreover, using the broiler can quickly get you to a high temperature.
Interestingly, there are a lot of documented cases of bird death in conjunction with Teflon usage . Birds are very sensitive -- hence "canary in coal mine" -- but it is interesting to see that bird death can happen during normal use of Teflon and related products, certainly at temperatures below 400F.
[1,2] http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/06/the-food-lab-for-the-best..., http://www.boedeker.com/ptfe_p.htm
The operating temperature of teflon (approx 600f) is higher than the operating temperature of the oil (approx 400f) you cook with.
When burned with a wick, no. But if just heated till is smokes? Just as toxic as any oil.
> even if oil is toxic, it seems to be something that is a required part of cooking - we assume the risk. Teflon, not so much.
Oil does not have to be toxic. Just don't exceed the smoke point. And like oil, in normal cooking Teflon is not toxic either. It's completely inert.
> Teflon does get that hot in the course of regular cooking. And it releases toxic fumes under those conditions.
No it does not. No one cooks at over 660f. (OK, maybe some specialized stuff, but not with regular cooking where you would use a pan.)
> Especially when there are choices for pans/cookware that do NOT release fluorocarbons at high temperatures.
Like Teflon? Which does not release them either?
Cast iron is great too though, don't get me wrong.
These guys recommend stainless or cast Fe.
Aluminum yes, but hard anodized is alumina which is a different compound, also called ruby and emerald. It's very very hard (as you can tell since it makes gemstones) and completely inert to cooking materials.
Confusing aluminum and hard anodized is like confusing chlorine and table salt.
Not only does the hard anodized surface work well, the lids have small holes where the spout of the pan is so that you don't need to use a colander.
I've put a blowtorch to teflon when sweating copper and very little happened to it.
> which could be toxic when breathed
At equal temperatures oil is more toxic than teflon.
Teflon doesn't like high heat or rapid temp changes.
Here's a really good article on use and care from Fine Foods Mag:
I just learned that recently.
The pronunciation for the Italian word for strong/strength is "for-tay"
In French, forte is pronounced "fort"
In Italian, forte is pronounced "fortay"
In English, the pronunciation of forte depends on which language you borrowed it from. It inherits its proper pronunciation from the source language.
BTW, English --> Italian: strength --> forza.
Too bad they don't also have a removal process to remove them once they've had their few years of trendiness and are forgotten.
The only thing you need to avoid while cooking is overly acidic foods. If you try to make a tomato sauce in it you will see the seasoning flake off. That's not good, but is very easily fixed by repeating the above steps.
To clean it, scour the plan with kosher salt and a paper towel. Once clean, coat lightly in canola oil.
The roommate recently purchased an enameled cast iron skillet. The use and care guide was pretty poorly written. So, a couple of stupid questions on the topic follow:
* The coating inside the pan is enamel, and doesn't need maintenance?
* One needs to not use metal utensils (or steel wool) in order to not damage the coating?
* One can wash the damn thing with soap and water without harming the coating?
Thanks in advance. :D
* no maintenance for inside
* don't use steel wool. With a stubborn stain I use a little baking soda, which some folks say is ok and others forbid. I use metal utensils despite being told not to. I use them gently and accept a few scratches; I try to avoid cutting things in the pan. I also wear contacts while swimming because I'm that kind of rebel. Meh.
* Soap + water = great :)
Also, if the enamel cracks inside the cooking area of the pan, you may want to throw out the pan; it may expose your food to contact with toxins used in adhering the enamel.
My best-seasoned skillet is the one I only use for cornbread, fried eggs, and grilled cheese, since I only cook with oil there.
A good seasoning is something you build up over time: when you first season a grey skillet, it looks unusable for a time, but keep cooking oily foods in it and it will blacken up.
The nice thing is that since it's metal, you can use metal utensils. And if something is badly burned on enough that normal soaking and scouring won't remove it, you can scrape it out with metal tools.
1. Scrub thoroughly using only hot water and a stainless steel pot cleaner -- this should give you a clean start
2. Make fried potatoes using lots of oil, fry potatos until black (throw them away, obviously) -- this should help soak the somewhat porous surface with oil
3. Apply a thin coating of oil and bring to immense heat -- this will create a solid surface
4. After every use, clean gently using only and old towel (or hot water and pot cleaner, if needed) and always rub some oil on it when dry -- this will give you a good start for the next heat-up
Please note that 3. will result in quite a bit of smoke from the burning oil, so you may want to do this on the grill outside your house.
Steps one through three are what is called "seasoning" the pan. It's a process that often makes a bunch of smoke. Ideally, you only ever have to do that once. Cooking on cast iron doesn't produce a smoky mess.
IIRC (and I might not RC, I'm no food chemist) the coating is polymerized oil/fat and completely harmless.
I don't use cast iron pans because I believe they're less toxic, but because they make a damn fine crusty steak or fried potatoes.
And I use teflon pans to stir-fry or steam veggies and chicken, or to make fried eggs, just because they're more convenient.
To be honest, I don't really care all that much about potential toxiticity in cooking equipment. That wasn't really my hypothesis to begin with, I was just sharing my love for cast iron pans :-)
If you're having issues consider getting the pre-seasoned from Lodge. It's a few buck more and they've already got a dang fine seasoning backed on.
Here's a decent article on seasoning: http://www.cooksillustrated.com/how_tos/5820-the-ultimate-wa...
For $18 it will change your cast iron life.
The idea is that after you cook, you scrub all the stuff that gets stuck to the bottom with the chainmail and some water, then wipe it off with a paper towel. You'll never have to use soap again.
Brillo pads have soap, which you don't want because it takes the grease (read: seasoning) off the pan. They also rust quickly when you leave them out, which can discolor things.
Steel is about 5.5 - 6.3 and Iron is around 4.5 on Moh's Hardness Scale. Higher numbers are harder.
In theory, soap shouldn't be a problem. The non-stick coating is polymerized oil bonded to the metal. It's not soluble by soap.
But there are conflicting opinions.
It certainly damaged the seasoning IMO, but not as much as you might expect.
Not that I would ever do that.
Yes, it is effectively burnt oil and you probably shouldn't eat too much of it, but it will give steaks for instance a great crust and I think it adds a bit of flavor as well.
Also no metal utensils and don't heat it up like crazy especially without anything on it. Easy rules.
People cover up, even the biggest most "professional" here (DuPont), and the public gets decades of abuse.
Why is it that medication requires FDA approval with lots of animal/human tests before you can sell it, but chemicals do not? Here the tests internally done showed prove of issue year after year, and would have been a big red flag.
Non free markets, although regulated, don't necessarily perform better and can even perform worse in this regard. The FDA is a great example of an agency which often can be seen to work harder to protect the industry than the individual. For example, look up the story of Vioxx. A drug which killed 50k people, passed all FDA processes and when the manufacturer was caught hiding data showing this would happen the product was not even removed from the market as that would have opened the door for lawsuits against the manufacturer.
From the article.
"...THE FEDERAL TOXIC SUBSTANCES Control Act requires companies that work with chemicals to report to the Environmental Protection Agency any evidence they find that shows or even suggests that they are harmful..."
What many people don't realize, is that EPA and FDA rely on the trust of the private industry to submit accurate test data. This was the same issue with Vioxx.
People don't know to test also because they assume these agencies are protecting them. If property rights had more of a role, then there would be a greater call for testing and likely there would be more testing services available due to demand.
"... If these polluters were ever forced to clean up the chemical, which has been detected by the EPA 716 times across water systems in 29 states, and in some areas may be present at dangerous levels, the costs could be astronomical..."
I doubt this will happen, since the regulatory agencies attempt to prevent harm to the industry. A proponent of property rights would have no issue with the companies paying for every bit of damages and cleanup no matter how much damage is done to the business even if it must be shutdown.
Another example of EPA being aware of a problem and siding with industry against the individual
An example case in Canada where property rights did work
This is a good reference on the history of environmental policy. In an interesting section here, the book states how property rights in the US were purposely weakened to allow for pollution.
What I would like to see is a return to stronger enforcement of property rights by default and supplemented as necessary by agency regulation.
Can someone explain how this is supposed to work? I don't mean to sound rude/biased but this sounds like one of those cases where the theory is sound but when it meets with reality we get unpredictable(and sometimes disastrous) results.
That check will almost always be for far less than the answer you would have given before the injury to the question: "How much money would I have to give you to allow me to cause this specific injury to you?".
Legal claims can be and are sold to entities that aggregate them and bring the lawsuits themselves. That's probably better than the class action system but still leaves victims getting a fraction of their damages and perpetrators paying for only a fraction of the costs.
Another libertarian-ish solution to toxic torts, which I've never seen espoused, is to simply recognize that pollution is a form of violence and make it illegal. Then, people who want to pollute could transact with the potentially affected parties to pay them to shift onto them to bear the risk of harm from pollution.
To use a typical example, imagine a train track runs through a farmer's land and sparks from the train sets the farmer's wheat on fire, causing monetary harm. If the train company owns the tracks, then the farmer should be willing to pay to put spark guards along the tracks to protect his crop. Alternatively, if the farmer owns the tracks, the train company should be willing to pay for the damage to the crop to ensure that it can continue to operate.
In practice, there may be costs associated with negotiations (e.g. lawyers), it may be infeasible to negotiate between all parties (e.g. if there are many farmers affected), or property rights are not sufficiently strong for one party to bar another from producing negative externalities, all of which can lead to failures of the theorem.
To modify the analogy to fit the real-world situation, it would be more like if there were a million train tracks going all over the place, and the sparks from each train falls on millions of wheat fields, such that everyone lives in a diffuse cloud of sparks, and no single fire can be blamed on any individual train, and the harm from any single train is relatively small, even though the collective effect is extremely damaging.
The Coase Theorem assumes that transaction costs are negligible. In a many-to-many situation like real-world pollution, transaction costs necessarily become prohibitively large, because you basically have a quadratic explosion of connections between polluters and victims (many of whom are also polluters!).
>In practice, there may be costs associated with negotiations (e.g. lawyers), it may be infeasible to negotiate between all parties (e.g. if there are many farmers affected), or property rights are not sufficiently strong for one party to bar another from producing negative externalities, all of which can lead to failures of the theorem.
>Can someone explain how this is supposed to work? I don't mean to sound rude/biased but this sounds like one of those cases where the theory is sound but when it meets with reality we get unpredictable(and sometimes disastrous) results.
The example is meant to illustrate the mechanism being asked about by the parent (quoted). Nothing was said about filtering air and water in the example.
"...if a product polluted the air, victims could sue the product maker, who in turn would pass the costs of restitution onto the consumer. Higher prices would discourage use and decrease pollution..."
The only reference I know of in modern time where property rights were actually used was in Canada. Look up Terence Corcoran and clean water. He produced a documentary how Canada's waters have become polluted after property rights were abolished in 1955.
This is a good reference on the history of environmental policy. In an interesting section here, the book states how property rights in the US were purposely weakened to allow for pollution.
Only in limited circumstances. The problem with the property rights approach is that for much pollution there is no way to figure out who was responsible for releasing it.
I.e A very effectiveness initial scrutiny process for the FDA to say "This is safe, you can sell it to the public" (for drugs at least, and food-related chemicals; I'm admittedly unfamiliar with the tox standards applied to commercial or industrial chemicals) but little done for subsequent discoveries.
Maybe part of that is confirmation bias. "But we ran this chemical through our initial process and it tested as safe. How could it not be safe?"
The one I saw said it raised the death rate in the US by 100k per year for 5 years, after which there was an equal drop in the death rate. The rise was also in the age range of people most likely to take it.
This seems to imply that such markets aren't actually "free" since they're regulated via the enforcement of property rights.
I get your point, but the situation is not much better in non-free markets as well. Regulators have a price for which they can be captured.
Despite existing corruption, I do believe the FDA is less corrupt than it is corrupt, and for the most part they do have the public good as their primary interest.
My free market comment was more about this theory of self-regulation and trust. Clearly that gets violated time and time again, and here is yet another case to the point of knowingly harming their own employees for decades!
The bigger issue is this non-regulatory environment for so many chemicals. Innocent until proven guilty, especially for thousands of drugs already popular when regulations were enacted (in the 60s?), is just irresponsible. The list of drugs in the blood of the entire pollution just keeps growing... How long before we realize the permanent harm potential?
Everything in your house is toxic. Pick up anything with the ingredients on the label and google a random one that has a funny name. Then read about it on wikipedia and you can go further from there if you want and see the studies. Chances are it is very toxic but it's used in small ammounts so you shouldn't worry about it because the effects only show up after years and years of use.
Then look at the unlabeled stuff and food packaging. What's it made of? What is it coloured with? What's in the glue that holds it together? What does the paper have in it?
Checkout the uses for isothiazolinone and related compounds like methylchloroisothiazolinone if you are curious about something that's in practically everything.
They are non-stick. But are they covered with Teflon? I honestly don't know. They are oven safe up to 240C, I can put them in the dishwasher...they are seriously the most durable pans I've ever used, unlike normal Tefal Teflon covered pans which scratch easily. Does anyone know?
That said, lasers do use lots of power so it will probably be marginally more expensive.
Maybe some day, but then "there is no need for potentially dangerous Teflon coating in 10-15 years" would be more appropriate.
I was pleased to see that they aren't hyping the risk of cooking on Teflon.
It's been more than a decade since I cooked with Teflon. I use glass, stainless steel, cast iron, or ceramic/enamel (love that old original Corningware from eBay!).
Much like eating real food, it's not hard to switch and the result tastes better.
People preemptively reject GMOs for a fairly rational reason: they come from industries and an establishment with a hard documented history of lying and covering up problems. If a confirmed pathological liar comes to you with a new product and tells you it's safe...
I asked someone I knew who was very anti-GMO once if shs would consider them if they were being designed and tested by open non-profit agencies with a dedication to the public interest. She said yes.
For quite a few people, perhaps most, it's not some superstitious fear of the technology per se but a very rational distrust of the people who are wielding it.
I don't doubt all your other points, but why did you include this one?
Are you claiming that teflon-coated surfaces somehow add a taste, or demonstrably change the texture of the food cooked on it?
No it hasn't.
Teflon is not toxic at all.
I'll give you the benefit of the doubt as assume you are just confusing it with precursors to teflon instead of teflon itself.
"Use low or medium heat with Teflon skillets and pans. When Teflon-coated cookware is overheated, the cookware releases fumes that may cause flu-like symptoms in humans."
I prefer other types of cookware, for myself.
Teflon is safer than the oil you are cooking with. If you heated it hot enough to make fumes from the teflon you would have a cloud of smoke from the oil.
They know this because did a test and found that oil is more toxic to birds than teflon.
So go ahead and cook with teflon on high, it's safer than using a lot of burning oil.
Exposure of Japanese Quail and Parakeets to the Pyrolysis Products of Fry Pans Coated with Teflon® and Common Cooking Oils
plastic handle: 370°C/698°F
"FRANKLIN D. GRIFFITHa, SUSAN S. STEPHENSa & FIGEN O. TAYFUNa"
Footnote a: "a Haskell Laboratory for Toxicology and Industrial Medicine, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Wilmington, Delaware 19898"
I expect them to tell the truth. Do you accuse them of lying?
Because this is a very straightforward piece of research, it's not one of those cases where you can fudge the numbers with statistics, to cherry pick results out of nothing.
I'm willing to believe that if this study had bad results they might not have published it (which is why affiliated-type studies usually have "good" results). But since they did publish it, I am not willing to believe they lied.
Plus it's well known birds will die from smoke, it's also quite well known at what point butter or oil will smoke. This isn't very complicated research, and it fits perfectly with other known information.
If you still have doubts after this then that is simply your bias, not logic.
You’re right: I already said my default position is suspicion when dealing with companies that have lied profusely in the past.
I’m going to sign off and stop thinking about why you are pushing your point in multiple places in this thread. Maybe I’ll cook some steak in a stainless steel pan. Subversive, I know :-)
No. I am telling you your reasons are illogical.
> and stop thinking about why you are pushing your point in multiple places in this thread
It's not complicated. I happen to know something, so I am telling people.
If you are starting to think I have other motives then that's clearly a pattern in your mind and you will have to decide for yourself why you do that.
Yet another lovely thing I'm sure I ingested when I grew up drinking tap water in New Orleans what with the Ohio being the biggest tributary to the Mississippi.
So many years ago I started using a glass frying pan.
Ergo oil is toxic.
You are using bad logic and bad science.
Oil was found to be toxic at a lower temperature than teflon, making teflon safer than oil for high heat cooking.
Obviously when I say "oil is toxic" I'm being sarcastic.
So it seems to be that cast iron itself, heated, doesn't cause the bird to die. Cast iron + butter kills the bird, but so does teflon + butter. So in butter-less dry pan to dry pan scenarios, cast iron is non-toxic yet teflon is toxic.
As you can see here  if you leave your pan on the stove heated it can hit these toxic temperatures within minutes. So the exposure to the gas isn't hypothetical. Dry pan toxicity is a real concern which is unique to Teflon.
Then there's digesting it since it will slowly wear off into your food. We don't have science specifically looking at long-term slow exposure to PTFE/PFOA. So you're taking your chances... but we do know that PFOA is much less inert than PFTE when digested.
Non-stick pans won't last as long as cast iron or stainless steel, and cast iron can perform like non-stick while also adding flavor and necessary iron. Oh and cast iron can be often as cheap or cheaper than non-stick (except for the super crazy low end, but talk about most likely to be toxic...), and most certainly is cheaper in the long run (I'll have my great-grandmother's pan for the rest of my life which I do 90% of my cooking in... try that with your teflon).
So if you don't need non-stick pans, so why voluntarily expose yourself to the risk?
I think it's just the smoke, nothing special about oil or teflon. I wonder if smokers have a problem with bird health?
Cast iron has oil on it when seasoned. I suspect the study used "clean" cast iron.
And even if Teflon was totally safe, it's well-known to release toxic gases when overheated, which is an easy mistake to make in kitchens.
And we know quite far. It's pretty easy to tell from the molecular structure.
> it's well-known to release toxic gases when overheated, which is an easy mistake to make in kitchens.
So does oil. And oil does it at a lower temperature than teflon, which makes teflon safer. Or are you planning on banning oil in kitchens?
PTFE is stable and nontoxic at temperatures below about 250° celsius.
PFOA, a.k.a. C8, is a surfactant (“soap”) which was used in the polymerization of PTFE. (But also used for many other purposes, e.g. as an ingredient in carpet cleaners and fire-fighting foam.)
PFOA is a toxin and carcinogen which bioaccumulates and causes nasty problems for people exposed to large amounts of it.
The article is about PFOA which is not the same thing as teflon.
My gut reaction is the we should seriously consider resurrecting worse-than-death-penalty sanctions for the executives and scientists involved. I'd propose something like this for the fully-informed company executives and free acting scientists: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine_familial_exterminations
See https://dx.doi.org/10.1111%2Fj.1539-6924.2008.01017.x for a bit more information, I quoted the relevant part here:
Besides the pathways presented above, the following pathways have also been modeled: oral exposure from hand-to-mouth contact with clothes and upholstery, from mouthing of clothes, carpet, and upholstery (only infants and toddlers), from migration into food prepared with PTFE-coated cookware, dermal exposure from wearing of treated clothes, from deposition of spray droplets on skin while impregnating, from skin contact with treated carpet and with upholstery, and from deposition of dust on skin.
Detailed analysis of these pathways showed that none of them causes significant exposure to PFOS or PFOA under the assumption of reasonable conditions during exposure, that is, the contribution of each pathway to the total uptake dose is less than 1% in any of the scenarios.
Also: Is there any way to identify where the funding came for this study - or studies in general?
You will create dangerous compounds though if your pan goes over high temperature. This could happen if for example there is no oil in the pan. I have seen housewives and cookers heat the Teflon pan without oil for evaporating the water. Big no no with Teflon.
I have seen metal scrappers burning teflon pans to use the pan for something else and painting it!(with teflon you can't paint it)
The big problems with exotic chemicals is that people could do extremely stupid stuff without them realizing they had done anything wrong.
It is not like red alarms will start ringing or something. It is just silent, and two years later you will have cancer.
Oops... I regularly do this. Same question as previously.
Heating teflon to extreme temperatures will make it smoke, but it's way hotter than the smoke point of oil.
i.e. it's a far far higher temperature than anyone cooks at. (Maybe some specialized cooking methods, but they'd have to be without oil.)
If you did the same thing with oil, the oil would smoke and be far more toxic than the teflon.
i.e. teflon is safer than oil.
If you are not heating the pan beyond the smoke point of the oil you have nothing to worry about.
You can use an oven thermocouple to measure the temp of your pan as you heat it without oil. If you do it once,and compare with the temps that are dangerous(you could see it on Internet) you will never do it again, as you will realize how fast temp goes up and how easy is to manufacture C8 with your pan.
Water acts as a limit of temperature, when it is wet it can't go higher than 100 Celsius(locally, it can in the parts of the pan that are dry). But once all water is gone, it goes hot incredibly fast. Oil does the same but with higher temperature than water, with way higher boiling pressure.
If someone does this mistake in one of my Teflon pans, I just throw it away. I never trust pans that are not mine.
Obviously, when you see smoke in the oil it is not good either.
By the way most of my pans are ceramic or cast iron.
Exactly. The important takeaway here is that teflon becomes toxic only after the smoke point of the oil. i.e. oil is more toxic at high temperature.
So putting in the oil doesn't protect you from toxic fumes since you get those from the oil, but rather it gives a visible signal (smoke), that you could quickly turn off the heat because you are about to damage your pan. But as far as toxic fumes go it's too late - you already had those from the oil.
How about instead of having "government" do the testing, we instead require that anyone creating a new chemical needs to test it for safety and publish the results (and raw data) before allowing it to be sold? Seems reasonable to me that you verify that whatever you're selling isn't dangerous (or if it turns out to be dangerous, inform the buyers so that they can act accordingly). Should be the same with any product too, not just chemicals.
The "verify your product is not dangerous" has had strange effects, as people selling hand-knitted stuffed toys in tiny quantities have to work out how to handle CE marking requirements. This kind of regulation sets an effective minimum size on businesses.
The reason being that lead-free solder can still be used effectively. Lead-free radiation shields -- not so much.
The aim is to reduce the usage of hazardous substances to those cases where there's just no way around them, in the hope that it will make things like waste management easier.
Edit: CE marking requirements are also reasonably easy to work out. I know several one-man businesses that solved that problem without that much hassle, so -- anecdotally -- the minimum size imposed on a business is one :).
This depends very much on the product (first challenge: identify your product category in the regulations!). Electronics and especially radio transmitters have more confusing requirements. It helps that there isn't really any spot-checking: if you just write "CE" on the product and sell a few hundred units, and it doesn't actually kill anyone, you'll probably be fine.
I find it funny how the biggest proponents of regulation are also those who oppose big companies as well
Because regulations are a very nice way of eliminating the (smaller) competition
Cleaning them removes a natural antibacterial layer that protects the eggs, which is why the US has to refridgerate theirs and Europe leaves them out at room temp. http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/09/11/336330502/why...
Some substances are not meant to be in contact with people. It would be even unethical/illegal to study the contact of certain substances with people. Short studies usually can't tell the long effects of substances.
Testing in animals also has some problems (cigarettes are safe for mice)
Longer exposures (in a factory environment) also cause more problems, and in the case of duPont they're not the first not the last to be involved in similar issues (of employee contamination)
Just to be clear, I'm not defending the company, but to think government can regulate all kind of new substances that appear everyday is just silly.