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Non-stick cookware

Non-stick cookware refers to cookware that has a chemical coating so that food doesn’t stick. Teflon is the brand name for one type non-stick cookware, but many other companies also make non-stick cookware.

Some studies show that heating non-stick coatings to 300°C (572°F) can create fumes containing tetrafluoroethylene (TFE). The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies TFE as a probable cause of cancer, and the National Toxicology Program (NTP) classifies TFE as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen”.

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), is a chemical used in the manufacturing process of non-stick cookware. Based on limited human and animal studies, IARC classifies PFOA as a possible cause of cancer. Research on TFE and PFOA is ongoing.

Though non-stick coating can sometimes flake off into your food, there is no evidence that eating these small quantities is harmful.