Teflon is a non-stick chemical developed in the 1930s, and more products are coated in Teflon than you would expect.
While Teflon is generally safe for some uses, there are some products made with Teflon you should avoid.
Here are six Teflon products to avoid at all costs.
Teflon Cookware Made Before 2015
It was not until 2015 that people in the US became aware of how toxic Teflon pans can be.
One of the biggest issues with Teflon is that one of its components, Perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, can emit toxic fumes when heated.
Whenever you’re cooking dinner for the family, avoid using any Teflon cookware made before 2015. It is not guaranteed that it does not contain PFOA.
Many scientists have insisted that Teflon cookware was perfectly safe before the PFOA was removed.
However, there have been many reports of people experiencing negative health outcomes due to using Teflon products with PFOA, so err on the side of caution.
Hair Straighteners and Curling Wands
Something you should avoid adding to your daily beauty routine is any hair straighteners or curling wands that contain Teflon.
Because these tools get so close to your face when you use them, you have an increased chance of inhaling toxic fumes.
Finding a heated hair styling tool that does not contain Teflon can be harder than most people think.
Some companies that make hair tools without Teflon include:
Even if you purchase from one of the above companies, always check your styling tools’ packaging to be extra safe.
Microwave Popcorn Bags
Some microwave popcorn bags are made with Teflon to help keep the popcorn from sticking to the sides.
Teflon is also added to microwave popcorn bags to keep grease from leaking through. However, the fumes from these chemicals also pose a danger to consumers.
Microwave popcorn bags have been found by the FDA to account for approximately 20% of the PFOA levels discovered in blood samples.
There are a few popcorn companies that produce PFOA-free microwave popcorn bags:
- Quinn Popcorn
- Act II Light Butter
- Pop Secret Homestyle
- Newman’s Own Sea Salt
- Orville Redenbacher Simply Salted
- Eliza’s Organics Organic Microwave Butter Popcorn
- Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop Sea Salt Microwave Popcorn
To ensure your own safety, check your microwave popcorn bags to make sure they do not contain Teflon before heating them.
Believe it or not, there are products that you can wear or sit on that also contain Teflon, such as clothing, sofas, chairs, bedding, and almost anything made of fabric.
Products sprayed with Teflon fabric protectors, such as shirts, backpacks, and outerwear, can release harmful PFS, which breaks down into PFOAs in the blood.
Avoid fabrics made by the following companies:
- Sunbrella (made before 2022)
- Crypton (made before 2022)
Teflon makes soil, water, oil, and stain-repellent spray that is supposedly safe for use.
However, scientists are not truly sure if the chemicals in these products are genuinely safe.
Another everyday product that commonly has Teflon in it is dental floss. Although the amount of PFOAs is lower in these products, the particles can still cause serious issues.
Many of the popular, well-known dental floss brands often contain Teflon. Some Teflon-free brands include:
- Dental Lace
- GUM Flossmate Handles
There are a lot more companies that still include Teflon in their dental floss products than companies who choose to omit the harmful chemical.
Steam Clothing Irons
Surprisingly, clothing irons are also usually made with Teflon. Many companies add non-stick coating to their clothes irons to ensure clothes do not burn or stick to the iron.
It is predominantly steam clothing irons that contain Teflon. When these are used on high heat settings, harmful chemicals are released, endangering your health.
Instead of choosing a clothing iron with a non-stick coating like Teflon, opt for one that uses stainless steel soleplates. Some good options include:
- Sunbeam Steam Master
- Maytag M400 Steam Iron
- Hamilton Beach Steam Iron with Retractable Cord
- Pur Steam Professional Grade 1700 Watt Steam Iron
You should also avoid purchasing ironing board covers made with Teflon, and instead opt for a 100% cotton ironing board cover.