Monday, November 19, 2007

Rants about teflon

Unfortunately there was no yarn store outing this weekend. It was raining, and I'm afraid we've been spoiled by the up-to-now dry weather. Hopefully this isn't the start of the 100 days straight rainy season. Instead of wandering about in the rain we stayed home, Jessamy worked on her homework and I curled up on the couch with a book about climate change, ya know, some light reading. I won't get into the details of the book as we've all heard the gist of it before (it was the No-nonsense Guide to Climate Change, if you're interested), but I will rant about my arch-nemesis: Teflon.

I understand that non-stick coating isn't dangerous until it gets 500 degrees, and that unless you're stir frying the contents of the pan, you should be fine, and really it's just me be being paranoid again, but still, the stuff's scary. For goodness sakes, the EPA, who only bans really horrible chemicals as opposed to just mildly carcinogenic ones, has called for a complete ban on PFOA, one of the chemicals in Teflon, by 2015. I had heard about this ban last year, and of course heard for years about pet birds being poisoned, so when it came time to find a cookie sheet (for scones, soon to be a topic of another post) on Friday I had already made up my mind to not buy a non-stick pan. But it appears the world isn't as paranoid as I am. My first stop was Wilkinson's, as their prices are always really good. They had about 15 metal pans and sheets to choose from, all of them, as in 15 out of 15, were non-stick. So I went to another store, they also had about 15 metal dishes to choose from, 13 of which were non-stick. I was left with 1 thin roasting pan and a sheet with raised grooves to choose from. It was getting late, so I went with the roasting pan.

Less than 24 hours later I came across a list of six major gases as listed by the Kyoto Protocal. One of them, Hydrofluorocarbons, is a replacement for ozone-depleting substances, but are ironically 12,000 more powerful as a greenhouse gas than CO2. Among other things, Hydrofluorocarbons are used to manufacture the plastic PTFE, more commonly known as Teflon.

Have I already mentioned that about half of the laundry detergents here contain 15-30% Phosphates, aka fishy killer. We were actually running out of detergent because we didn't know what to do, but fortunately we found out that if you can't pay 5 pounds more for detergent you'll always have about 5% Phosponates, and should look for ones with 15 - 30% zeolites.

Perhaps laundry detergent will be another thing on my increasingly long list of things I should bring back from the US (including cranberries and marshmallows (we have a grill, and I really want some smores, but of course there'll be the question of how to be ecological when you're sending ashed into the air))

This turned out to be a longer post than I thought. Next time I'll post some pictures on the scones, assuming of course I manage to remember to buy batteries.

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