PTFE-coated non-stick cookware and toxicity concerns: a perspective

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2017 Oct;24(30):23436-23440. doi: 10.1007/s11356-017-0095-y. Epub 2017 Sep 14.


PTFE is used as an inner coating material in non-stick cookware. This unique polymer coating prevents food from sticking in the pans during the cooking process. Such cookware is also easy to wash. At normal cooking temperatures, PTFE-coated cookware releases various gases and chemicals that present mild to severe toxicity. Only few studies describe the toxicity of PTFE but without solid conclusions. The toxicity and fate of ingested PTFE coatings are also not understood. Moreover, the emerging, persistent, and well-known toxic environmental pollutant PFOA is also used in the synthesis of PTFA. There are some reports where PFOA was detected in the gas phase released from the cooking utensils under normal cooking temperatures. Due to toxicity concerns, PFOA has been replaced with other chemicals such as GenX, but these new alternatives are also suspected to have similar toxicity. Therefore, more extensive and systematic research efforts are required to respond the prevailing dogma about human exposure and toxic effects to PTFE, PFOA, and GenX and other alternatives.

Keywords: GenX; Non-stick cookware; PFOA; PTFE coatings; Pyrolytic gases from PTFE; Toxicity of PTFE.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / toxicity*
  • Animals
  • Cooking
  • Cooking and Eating Utensils / standards*
  • Gases / toxicity*
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans
  • Polytetrafluoroethylene / chemistry
  • Polytetrafluoroethylene / toxicity*


  • Air Pollutants
  • Gases
  • Polytetrafluoroethylene