I’ve been getting lots of questions relating to the documentary Dark Waters.
For example, Dannette wrote:
“I just watched the movie “Dark Waters” which makes the case against Teflon. I immediately threw away my nonstick pans. I’m concerned about ALL nonstick surfaces now. I’m not sure if I need to be. I’d love it if you watched it and then let me know what you think. I love having a good nonstick pan, but it isn’t worth my family’s long term health. I just want to figure out what my best options are for being completely safe cooking for my family.”
7/5/20 UPDATE: In my original response (posted here on June 25th), I disclosed that I had not seen the movie Dark Waters. Unfortunately, that did not keep me from making some false assumptions about it. In response to valid criticisms, I’ve removed my original comments about the movie Dark Waters, which included some inaccuracies. (See the comments for several thoughtful descriptions of the movie).
This doesn’t change my answer to Dannette’s question. Although I don’t personally use it, I don’t think users of modern nonstick cookware need to be concerned about chemicals leaching into their food. But let me add some additional context:
Although PFOA persists in the environment, it is no longer used in nonstick cookware. And even when it was used in Teflon cookware, the primary threat was not due to exposure from use of the pans but from industrial dumping of the chemical into the water supply.
Although I’m not afraid of poisoning myself or my family by using nonstick cookware,I prefer to use stainless steel, cast iron, glass, and silicone. I use a little oil or cooking spray when necessary. I sometimes have to clean a pan.
But the choices that we make individually about which products we use do not necessarily protect us from industrial chemicals that may be harmful to the environment in which we all live.
There are ongoing, legitimate concerns about the process by which industrial chemicals are tested and approved for safety and impact on the environment, including downstream effects on wildlife and human life.
Thank you to all who helped clarify this issue.