View Full Version : Teflon safety

05-31-2010, 07:52 PM
Is there any safety reason not to cut up a Teflon coated pan? I am thinking breathing the dust. Gary P. Hansen

Liger Zero
05-31-2010, 07:58 PM
Rig something up to capture the dust/bring you fresh air. Heck I learned that you can use cutting fluid/water to suppress dust, direct a stream to both sides of the cut.

05-31-2010, 08:43 PM
As long as the coating isn't heated above around 500 to 600 degrees there is no hazard. It is inert unless it is decomposed by heat in which case it forms a toxic gas.

05-31-2010, 08:56 PM
Thanks Evan. Gary P. Hansen

Dr Stan
05-31-2010, 09:52 PM
Is there any safety reason not to cut up a Teflon coated pan? I am thinking breathing the dust. Gary P. Hansen

Your primary danger lies with your wife coming after you with a rolling pin for ruining one of her pans! :D

06-01-2010, 04:50 AM
Is there any safety reason not to cut up a Teflon coated pan? I am thinking breathing the dust. Gary P. Hansen

Every man should have a hobby, but try snuff instead

06-01-2010, 07:53 AM
I have worked at the DuPont plant that makes PTFE for many years, and indeed it does need heat to be bad stuff. They even issue plastic cigarette cases if you are going into the area. If the powder gets on your smoke, it’ll give you the “Teflon flu” in a heartbeat.

No excess heat please!

As an aside: I had a friend obtain a small bottle of pure PTFE (We all got a little bit just to have). As you probably know, it is the active ingredient in products like Slick-50 and other additives for your car oil. Anyway, in his infinite wisdom, he dumped the wee little bottle into his old Monte Carlo engine... It lasted about four minutes until it spun every bearing in the engine. Dum-arse didn't realize that he put the equivalent of about 300 bottles of Slick-50 in his motor.

06-01-2010, 08:51 AM
It's called Polymer Fume Fever officially. Decomposing PTFE is not nice at all.

It goes much further than just causing the Teflon Flu.

Perfluoroisobutene (PFIB, 1,1,1,3,3-penta fluoro-2-trifluoro methylpropene, CAS No. 3812-21-8) is a fluoro-olefin produced by thermal decomposition of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), e.g., Teflon [1].

Overheating of PTFE generates fumes of highly toxic PFIB and poses a serious health hazard to the human respiratory tract. PFIB is approximately ten times as toxic as phosgene [2]. Inhalation of this gas can cause pulmonary edema, which can lead to death. PFIB is included in Schedule 2 of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), as a result of the prompting by one delegation to the Conference on Disarmament [3]. The aim of the inclusion of chemicals, such as PFIB was to cover those chemicals, which would pose a high risk to the CWC. Subsequently PFIB, specifically, was included in the final text of the CWC.

Human Toxicity

Pyrolytic products of PTFE heated below 500ÁC may be dangerous [15].[Editorís note: this has been called "polymer fume fever."] Five workers accidentally exposed to a gas containing 2 percent PFIB reported irritation of the respiratory tract within 24 h of exposure. The lung irritation was manifested by cough in all cases. The patients developed headache, cough, substernal pain, dyspnoea and fever within the first hour following exposure. The symptoms became worse at six to eight hours after exposure. Also choking or shortness of breath was observed in a majority of the patients. The condition of the patients began to improve on the fifth day and they were discharged from the hospital after two to three weeks. One patient developed a respiratory infection, which required his stay in hospital to be extended to about eight weeks. All the patients were shown to have pulmonary edema and this was confirmed at post mortem on two patients died. One died after 11 days after exposure, the other died after 13 days [16, 17]. According to Kennedy [14], one worker exposed to PFIB for three minutes reported strong subjective symptoms of bad odor, bad taste in the mouth, nausea and weakness. On returning to fresh air, the worker recovered and had no further symptoms. Half an hour later, a concentration of 0.04 ppm of PFIB was measured in the exposure area.


06-01-2010, 09:17 AM
It may be called polymer fume fever by some, but where they make the stuff it's simply called TEFLON FLU. Been there, done that. You may read anything you like about it, and in different amounts, it may cause variartions of reactions. But I can tell you all in no uncertain terms, it will remove a good week of your life, and will linger far longer than only a week. You will feel like death warmed over. And over. And over. It'll be hard to breath, your nose will run profusely, you will hack like a chain smoker, and your whole body will hurt, from head to toe. And this from a VERY tiny bit of PTFE powder on a cigarette.

Like I said earlier: Don't get it hot.