Is PTFE Coating (Teflon) Safe? Exploring Safer Alternatives

PTFE coating is a versatile product, employed in a range of industries. It has excellent chemical resistance, is non-stick, and has a wide range of service temperatures. Teflon is widely used as a coating for household products as well as industrial fabrics and is made from PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) and is a synthetic fluoropolymer of tetrafluoroethylene.

Does PTFE Coating Cause Environmental Harm?

Recent research has shown that fluorinated polymers in Teflon coating can cause environmental contaminants. The degradation of Teflon coating at high temperatures leads to large amounts of trifluoracetic acid in the environment. [1]

TFA enters the atmosphere when HCFCs and HFCs break down and this then exits in rainwater. When rainwater was analyzed, excess amounts of TFA were discovered. TFA levels were much higher than would be expected naturally, and the levels were much higher close to cities here Teflon coating is used a lot more.

PTFE coating contains chemical compounds that do not break down and often accumulate over time. High levels of exposure to these compounds can induce health risks such as kidney, thyroid, testicular and ovarian cancer.

When these chemical compounds get into rainwater they eventually run into rivers and drinking water. This can cause harm to both humans and animals following long-term exposure.[2]

In 2017, after a huge legal battle with a PTFE coating manufacturer, over 3,500 plaintiffs were awarded a 671-million-dollar settlement. These plaintiffs claimed they contracted cancer and other diseases as a result of chemical compounds found in PTFE that were being dumped into public waterways. [3]

Is PTFE Coating Still Popular?

Despite the clear issues with PTFE coating for the environment and human health, many companies still use it to coat their materials. However, there has been an increase in calls for products made from alternatives that are safer for the environment and do not directly impact human health.

PTFE Coating Safer Alternatives

Mid-Mountain Materials, Inc. is a certified manufacturer of thermal insulation barriers that are designed to enhance environmental protection, emissions control, and energy conservation. With the concerns arising around the safety of PTFE coatings, Mid-Mountain decided that using these products does not align with their vision of achieving growth through innovation to protect the planet, people, and the future of the world.

Mid-Mountain uses a low VOC coating for their black textiles, ensuring that PTFE coatings and solvents are not required. Urethane is also being explored as an alternative coating that offers the same benefits as PTFE yet is safer for the environment.  These coatings offer superior heat protection, exceptional durability, and high resistance to weathering, chemicals, and abrasion.

To find out more about how Mid-Mountain is working towards more sustainable practices, ensuring the safety of workers, users, and the planet, through the removal of PTFE coatings, and more, get in touch with the team today.

[1] Graham, S. (2001, July 19). Teflon parts could cause the environment harm. Scientific American. Retrieved January 21, 2022, from

[2] The history and safety of teflon and PTFE. unsustainable. (2021, December 19). Retrieved January 21, 2022, from

[3] The history and safety of teflon and PTFE. unsustainable. (2021, December 19). Retrieved January 21, 2022, from

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