What Happens If You Eat Teflon?

Teflon flakes eaten at room temperature are likely to pass through the body without being absorbed or causing harm. However, Teflon heated above 500 degrees Fahrenheit emits toxic fluorine gases, and at 680 degrees sometimes causes flu-like symptoms called polymer fume fever in humans.

Teflon and other nonstick coatings take two to three minutes to reach 500 degrees Fahrenheit or higher when preheated without food in a conventional oven, as shown in independent studies conducted by Good Housekeeping and the Environmental Working Group. High temperatures break down Teflon at the molecular level, giving off polymer fumes and at least six known toxic gases, two of which are carcinogens.