Understanding Agricultural Issues

Why Burning Teflon-Treated Pans Can Endanger Your Water

Lots of homeowners have probably heard the phrase Teflon and wondered what it meant. These homeowners may not realize that they cook with these products every day and may burn them. This is a dangerous prospect because it can pollute their water with PFOS chemicals. 

What Is Teflon?

Teflon is a range of products that is applied to a variety of cookware to help make them non-stick when cooking food. It is typically well-coated to the pan and doesn't come off of it easily. When it is left on the pan, it is completely safe. However, it is a product that is made out of several chemicals and it can be a problem if it ever runs off the pan.

For example, it is possible to burn Teflon while cooking and cause it to run off the pan. When this happens, a person may wash these chemicals down their sink without even realizing what they are doing. This situation can be a troubling one because it adds dangerous PFOS chemicals into the general drinking water.

Flushing It Is Dangerous

Two of the chemicals used to make Teflon and other types of products like it are polytetraflouroethene and perflurooctanic acid. These chemicals can be referred to as PTFE and PFOA. They aren't a major problem in a pan that is sealed and which is safely coated with Teflon. However, a burning pan may let these chemicals into the air or even cause the surface coating to melt.

When this coating melts and flushes down the drain, its adds PFOA to the water. This chemical falls under the heading of a PFOS chemical and is a serious health concern. It may lead to higher rates of cancer and a variety of other problems. Thankfully, it is possible to treat this problem and keep it from getting too dangerous.

Treating Water May Be Advisable

While a few flushes of PFOS down the drain is hardly a serious danger, thousands of people likely do this every day across the country. As a result, it is important to understand how to avoid this danger. There are several ways that a person can treat their way if they believe it has been affected with these chemicals. It is possible to install filters that eliminate it before it gets into the house.

However, it is also possible to petition the city government to ask them to test for and complete PFOS treatment. While they aren't necessarily going to kill a person immediately, their obvious health risk has been known for years and officials need to do what they can to ensure that more people don't get hurt by them.