A team of scientists from Newcastle University and Flinders University have determined that millions of tiny plastic particles are potentially shed from non-stick pots and pans during cooking and washing as they gradually deplete their coating.

According to the scientists, one crack on the surface of a Teflon-coated pan can shed roughly 9,100 plastic particles. Further, the scientists revealed via Raman imaging and an algorithm model the shedding of 2.3 million microplastics and nanoplastics at the microscale from broken coating.

Source: Science of The Total Environment (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.158293Source: Science of The Total Environment (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.158293

With scientists pointing out that the non-stick coating Teflon is a member of the PFAS (per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances) family, which are also known as forever chemicals, the Teflon microparticles in food are a significant health concern that demands further investigation.

To visualize and identify hard-to-monitor Teflon nanoplastics and microplastics to avoid the contamination of food, researchers suggest that insights into the threat of Teflon plastic debris during daily cooking need to be further assessed.

The molecular spectrum approach to directly visualizing and identifying the Teflon microplastics and nanoplastics appears in the article, Raman imaging for the identification of Teflon microplastics and nanoplastics released from non-stick cookware, which is published in the journal Science of The Total Environment.

To contact the author of this article, email mdonlon@globalspec.com