Scanpan and Teflon
An extract from SCANPAN's website displays
Does SCANPANs cooking surface break down at high temperatures?
Overheating or cooking dry is generally defined in the nonstick
cookware industry as exceeding 500 degrees, either with an empty pan
or with food in the pan, which has been accidentally left on the
stove. It happens more often than one might think. Some reports,
which tested exactly that aspect of cookware use.
At that time, SCANPAN Classic was
one of only two nonstick pans that survived an overheating test. The
reason lies in a specially formulated PTFE that works in conjunction
with SCANPAN's patented ceramic titanium surface technology. Details are
proprietary to SCANPAN.
PTFE, PFOA ?
Much has been written about Teflon, PTFE and PFOA.
PTFE is the material that results after applying, curing and otherwise
processing the liquid product that is used to make nonstick
coatings. TEFLON is the brand name under which DuPont sells their variation of PTFE.
In its liquid stage, the PTFE based coatings contain a component called PFOA. PFOA is a salt that keeps the coating material in suspension before it is applied to the cookware. Filter
technology is used to filter out the PFOA at the point of production, and no PFOA remains in the coating once applied.
As relates to TEFLON, DuPont would have better answers relating to the effects of their product, however, SCANPAN does not use DuPonts TEFLON product, but rather relies upon their own research and development team in Denmark to develop their own PTFE-based coatings as used on the SCANPAN product.
SCANPAN Denmark has on official "GREEN" status with the
Danish government since the factory emissions are consistently and
significantly below the mandated levels. When SCANPAN's Ceramic Titanium was invented and patented in 1986, SCANPAN were able to leverage modern filter technology that enabled complete removal of PFOA. Since then, the filter systems at their factory have constantly
being upgraded as technology improves further.
PFOA was highlighted as an issue by the EPA, not the FDA. Its cited as an environmental issue, not a food consumption issue. The
so called "Teflon flu" refers to symptoms that could appear or have
appeared with workers in production plants, not with consumers, to the
best of SCANPAN's knowledge.
There is no PFOA present in the finished SCANPAN Classic product.
PTFE, which is a necessary building block for any nonstick coating, including
SCANPAN, may give off fumes when heated in excess of 660
degrees F. This temperature is never reached during normal residential cooking,
frying or baking routines. The fumes themselves, once they should
occur, are not harmful to humans but are potentially harmful to the
extra sensitive respiratory system of exotic birds. It should be noted that the fumes released from margarine are in the same category and are potentially more harmful to certain species of birds. Owners of these birds should take precautions from ALL types of kitchen fumes rather than focusing on cookware alone.
Further ... what does Consumer Reports have to say ....
It has been widely known for years that human exposure to PFOA is very low under normal non-stick cookware use conditions. A just-released study report by a trusted third party, Consumer Reports, has again verified that the risk of non-stick pan use is very low, and getting lower.
Consumer Reports tested non-stick pans from various manufacturers to test the safety of new and used pans at heats of 204 C (400 F) and found that PFOA emissions were minimal. "The highest level was about 100 times lower than levels that animal studies suggest are of concern for ongoing exposure to PFOA," the magazine reports in its June issue. "With the aged pans, emissions were barely measurable." Health Canada has said that non-stick coatings are safe to use at temperatures under 350 C (662 F). But, the federal agency said that with higher heats, irritating or poisonous fumes may be released."
Points to think about:
If you cook at temperatures over 500 F, normal cooking greases and oils are at, or likely to soon reach, the "flash point." Hence, you are creating a serious risk of a grease fire and also are denaturing foods and greases, and thus emitting smoke and vapors that are likely hazardous to your and your pet's health, regardless of what type of pan you are using!
PFOA-like chemicals are added at very low concentrations to powdered fluoro-polymers to help the non-stick polymer powders adhere, in an even layer, to recently stamped, cast, or spun pans, prior to "baking on" the non-stick polymer finish. During this baking-on phase of cookware manufacture, the bulk of residual PFOA-like emulsifiers are driven off to a fume vent system from the high temperature manufacturing ovens. That is where vapor controls are needed to reduce occupational exposure.
The widespread bio-accumulation of PFOA and PFOA-like materials in multiple warm blooded species around the world is unlikely to be significantly attributable to cookware. Not all societies even have access to non-stick cookware! We must look to other PFOA like material end uses to determine where the significant animal exposures are coming from.
It's time to stop the cookware/PFOA exposure myth spreading, and focus on the real exposure risks.