All T-FAL non-stick coatings contain PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), a remarkable plastic polymer. This is the slippery ingredient that makes the non-stick finish. PTFE is made up of "tetra fluoro ethylene" molecules that contain only carbon and fluorine. The non-stick coating is not attacked by acid or alkali bases and is very stable when heated. Health authorities in the US, Canada, France, Europe and other countries have approved non-stick PTFE coatings for use on cookware. Actually, it is an inert substance which does not enter into chemical reactions with food, water, or household cleaners. If ingested, it is totally innocuous to the body. Non-stick is so safe it is frequently used by the medical profession for coating heart stimulators, small pipes used as replacement arteries, and has even been injected into patients with serious kidney conditions.
To cause any possible hazard to the consumer, it would be necessary to heat 36 non-stick frying pans simultaneously to 750° F. Since in a domestic kitchen the maximum temperature possible to which a pan can normally be heated is approximately 575° F, there is no risk should a pan be accidentally overheated.
Please note that any material overheated at a high enough temperature will emit fumes. Fumes from overheated non-stick cookware will not adversely affect humans or household pets with the exception of birds. Birds' delicate respiratory systems are highly sensitive to everyday kitchen fumes resulting from ordinary cooking, whether using non-stick or uncoated cookware. Users should observe good cooking practices and never allow non-stick cookware to overheat. For safety, veterinarians recommend that birds always be kept in a well-ventilated room away from the kitchen.
Only T-Fal non-stick cookware has Thermo-Spot, a unique patterned red spot in the center of the frying pan that changes to solid red when the pan is perfectly pre-heated and ready to cook. By monitoring pre-heating using Thermo-Spot, cooking can start without the empty pan overheating.
For more information on our cookware products please visit our question and answer section. You may also send us an email or call us at 800.395.8325.