Friday June 4, GreenPan decided to step out of The Federation of European Manufacturers of Cookware and Cutlery (FEC). GreenPan cannot agree with the position of The Federation on PFAS. The FEC supports the claim that PTFE should be considered an ‘Essential Use’. However, ‘Essential’ implies that it is vital for health and safety of society and that no viable alternatives are available at scale for a similar price. At GreenPan, we disagree strongly with The Federation’s groundless statement:
When considering their intrinsic properties and the benefit that they bring to the consumer, fluoropolymers used in food contact coatings should be considered as irreplaceable. As such – and because they should not be considered as PFAS of concern – FEC feels strongly that fluoropolymers, as used in kitchenware articles, should not be included in any future REACH restriction on PFAS. https://fecassociation.eu/download/2020-August-PFAS-Position-Paper.pdf
The arguments that The FEC uses to support its claims are outdated (research report on cancer from 1979), biased (scientific reports made by the PTFE-industry, 2005) or utterly irrelevant (‘thanks to PTFE we use less water and soap for the cleaning process’). The ‘opinion’ ignores the devastating facts that are generally known in 2021. Why else would they call these and the process aids used to make dispersions: ‘forever chemicals’? A policy of denial will not contribute to any solution for this public’s health & safety problem.
There are reportedly over 9,000 different PFAS registered for use, and probably thousands that didn’t yet make it onto any database. PFAS are used in all kinds of products and processes. The number invented increases year by year. Literally, it’s a toxic cocktail, and manufacture of non-stick cookware with PTFE-type coatings adds to the cocktail because for every such item made, more PFAS had to be manufactured and used in the first place. Thus, PFAS emissions escape into the environment, find their way into the food chain and even into the blood of the unborn child.
Multinationals, like McDonalds, are phasing PFAS out of all food contact materials and retailers in places like Denmark are banning articles form their stores that contain PFAS or were made with its use. Consumers are reading about the possibility that PFAS in their children’s blood may lead to vaccinations (and even COVID-19 vaccinations) becoming less effective, and they are hearing that micro-plastics can be found in the Placenta, which may enable transmission of more toxic chemicals to the unborn baby.
The old arguments about PTFE being lasting longer no longer ring true. In fact, Persistence alone is a cause for major concern. Of course, not all Ceramic Non-stick is born the same. But we now expect our Ceramic Non-stick to last at least as long as PTFE-coated pans, but without borrowing the resources from tomorrow or leaving a toxic legacy where our future generations will need to clean up their food and drinking water.