What’s worse than how the sausage gets made? How the pan gets made. New testing from the Ecology Center found that despite growing concern about the toxicity of “forever chemicals” known as PFAS, most nonstick cooking pans and some baking pans are coated with PTFE, a fluoropolymer made from PFAS (per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances). PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) is best known by the brand name Teflon™ and goes by several other brand names as well. 

We tested 14 nonstick cooking pans and 10 nonstick baking pans to identify their coatings. We found the following:

  • 79% of the cooking pans were PTFE-coated.
  • 20% of the baking pans were PTFE-coated.
  • In some cases, product claims on the packaging could lead buyers to purchase PFAS-coated pans when they think they’re buying an alternative.
  • Some of the alternatives may also be hazardous. Surprisingly, we found undisclosed BPA-based coatings on two of the baking pans and one of the cooking pans.
  • Safer, more durable alternatives are readily available and provide good cooking performance. The Ecology Center suggests opting for uncoated pans made from cast iron or stainless steel or, for baking, glass or ceramic.

The full report is here and the complete list of pans and test results is below.

Published on December 15, 2020

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