July 24, 2005


Here's a big lawsuit.

IN THE COMMENTS: Teflon or no Teflon, if you have a pet bird, keep it out of the kitchen.


Steel Turman said...

We might as well just go back to eating fruits and berries and leaves. No fires unless caused by lightening. Naturally occuring domiciles only ie. caves.

Oh almost forgot ... no talking, that would be noise pollution.

Do you suppose that would satisfy the wackos?

Bruce Hayden said...

There are a couple of issues here. PFOA in the manufacture of Teflon, and Teflon itself. Even if PFOA is questionable, that won't affect us that much. DuPont can just move manufacture offshore. Plenty of places in this world that would love to have those plants.

And I don't mind in the least if the company has to clean up its mess. That is a cost of doing business, and this is one of the company's most profitable businesses, now for 50 years.

But banning Teflon itself is much more worrisome. Yes, if it actually were to be shown as likely to cause cancer in humans - that would be a very different story.

But the class action lawsuit in favor of people who have bought Teflon products is much more worrisome. It would essentially cover almost everyone in the country. And it is based on no scientific evidence. Zip. Zero. Nada.

Makes me really wish for a loser pays system. Here we have some lawyers looking at the $200 million or so profits DuPont makes a year, and are sensing a potential bonanza on their part.

Makes me embarrassed to be an attorney.

bill said...

Lawsuit before science. I saw this yesterday. The lawyers leave off the science part which proves teflon nor cookware made with it contains PFOA. Just because a substance is used in manufacture, it does not mean it is present in the final products.

This is 2005's Alar.

I hope the suit is filed under loser pays rules.

olivia1 said...

Let's see...it's been in use for 50 years....Americans are living longer than ever...I mean, for heavens sake, we have to die sometime from something.

Paul said...

The charges won't stick.

Technogypsy said...

Damn! Never mind that telfon is well studied and used in medical devices like replacement veins, heart valves, stents, etc. Never mind it can used to help making keeping hospitals, bathrooms, and kitchens cleaner. No. We got to sue because some piece of its process is dnagerous. In all my years as a chemist, I've never seen a trace of the precursors in the telfon. The processing get it out to any reasonable level.

It's like the arsenic in water mess...At some point, dosage levels become so slight as to be meaningless.

The restrictions on freon cost us millions a year and the replacements don't work as well and are toxic. At what point do we start maybe thinking about cost-benfit analysis in these cases?

Bob Mitze said...

on the other hand...

I have several friends who keep parrots and other birds. Every one has told me they were advised to get rid of their teflon pots and pans because using them puts something in the air that kills birds. It happens if the pans are allowed to get too hot. Having melted a few pans in 40 years of cooking - typical scenario: a phone call distracts me while the water boils away - I pay more attention when I use my own teflon pans to make sure they never overheat.

Technogypsy said...


I don't know. I know I have run medical grade Teflon up to 600 C (1112 F) before we could detect any degradation in the lab. Now sinxe the Tg is lower so the bond would weaken...I am blogging about it now over at technogypsy.net so I'll dig some on that, but I'd actually wonder if its an urban legend.

bill said...

Birds have extremely sensitive lungs that can be damaged by many things, areosols for one. The bird's lungs can be damaged by careless cooking in any type of pan. Burnt fat or butter is particulary bad.

Any good veternarian will tell you as much. Bird owners mostly know this and keep their birds away from the kitchen. Has nothing to do with the type pan used, unless you assume the users of non-stick cookwear are more careless cooks.

My friend, who onws parrots explained this to me many years ago.

Technogypsy said...

I spent most of the evening reading on this and it appears birds just don't belong in the kitchen. See http://home.nycap.rr.com/useless/teflon/teflon2.htm

Especially since if you get the pan that hot you are going to be getting offgassing from the handle as well as burning food.

Interesting. With all respect to our hostess, I think its a case of greedy lawyers looking for a victim. Everyone hates those big chemical companies anyway...(grin) Heck, I'm a chemist and I have days...