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Can Teflon Make You Sick?

Nov 14, 2003 |

Teflon, one of the most popular non-stick pan products, can emit fumes that make you sick if it is allowed to get hot enough.

According to ABCNews, the makers of Teflon have known about the problems for years.

To learn about the health problem, ABCNews went to the kitchen with members of the Environmental Working Group.

They say that when a Teflon coated pan reaches 554-degrees, ultra-fine particles start coming off the pan. The particles can imbed in the lungs and lead to "Teflon Flu."

The illness causes flu-like symptoms, including headache, backache, and a temperature between 100 and 104 degrees.

The hotter a Teflon pan gets, the more chemicals are released and at 680 degrees, six toxic gases can begin to come off of heated Teflon.

The Teflon flu is something DuPont has known about for years and with normal cooking, pans don't get hot enough to present a problem.

In a test done by ABCNews, a piece of bacon was just beginning to get crisp when a Teflon pan went past the initial danger point of 500 degrees the temperature Dupont says is never exceeded under normal cooking conditions at home.

The federal government is now conducting an urgent review of the chemical involved in making Teflon for possible long-term harm.

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