Statement From the Cookware Manufacturers Association

1.      What makes a non-stick pan, nonstick? 

 In the case of traditional nonstick, the active ingredient, a polyfluorinated compound, is highly water repellent. It repels the water found in all foods. For ceramic nonstick pans, the repellent is a silicone-based oil contained in the ceramic coating.

2.      Are PTFE chemicals dangerous?  

No. PTFE is not reactive and not dangerous at all.

3.      Have PFOA chemicals been removed from all non-stick frying pans on the market, and if not, how can one be sure they are purchasing a non-stick pan that does not contain PFOA chemicals? 

 Yes, PFOA is no longer used in the production of PTFE coatings by all reputable manufacturers.

4.      If a non-stick frying pan is heated 500 degrees or beyond are the fumes released dangerous?  

PTFE can release noxious smelling fumes if overheated. While this can cause discomfort, there is no evidence of long term harm. These fumes are a danger to birds, which have very sensitive respiratory systems. This is why canaries were carried into coal mines.

5.      If the non-stick frying pan chips or flakes, is it still safe to use?  

Yes. However,  If the coating is in this condition, it has likely lost its nonstick properties.

6.      What steps should consumers take when shopping for a non-stick pan, to ensure they are purchasing the safest and most effective pan?  

a.  Most effective way is to buy from a Cookware Manufacturers Association Member. Members of CMA are committed to highest standards for the manufacture of cookware and bakeware.

b.  Buy from a reputable manufacturer and retailer. 

c . Avoid cheap pans. 

d.  Make sure manufacturer’s name is clearly on packaging and/or product.