Many have doubted the dangers of cumulative exposure to one of the chemicals that make up Teflon- PFOA. On the DuPont website it states clearly that the FDA found Teflon acceptable for conventional use. Thanks for nothing FDA! Dozens of studies have linked PFOA’s with cancer, immune disorders, obesity and reproductive problems, and not just in animals at least 10 of those studies showed effects in humans. Most recently, a paper published in Human Reproduction took blood samples from over 1200 women and showed that those with higher levels of PFOA and PFOS took longer to become pregnant than those with lower levels!
The good news:
Two companies are currently making non-stick pans without PFOA’s, Cuisinart GreenGourmet (available at Bed Bath and Beyond) and GreenPan™ Cookware (available at Target). Both companies report that these pans are safer than traditional non-stick cookware and have none of the high temperature toxic emission concerns that Teflon coated pans have. Both companies have also gone to some pretty impressive lengths to make these products more environmentally friendly, including post-consumer recycled packaging, soy based inks and lower energy use in production. I have one of each type of pan that I got for Christmas. The Cuisinart Pan is 'prettier' but so far both have performed well in the non-stick department. GreenPan's are less expensive.
For people who aren’t convinced that the new non-stick coatings are safe, stainless steel and cast iron are both good options that have been around for years, no ‘greenwashing’ there.