Your article noted that “. . . with food in it, a pan will never reach temperatures that produce toxic PTFE-derived gases.” However, to fry items like eggs and pancakes, the pan has to be hot before you put oil and food into it. The article was enough to send me out to replace my nonstick frying pan.

Mary Schaer
Portland, Ore.

In the article, Günter Oberdörster makes the comment, “. . . you have to put it in perspective. . . . Cooking with such pans is less dangerous than driving a car.” That’s still quite frightening.

Bill Galcher
Redwood City, Calif.

Nonstick kitchen appliances such as waffle irons, Foreman grills, sandwich makers, and so forth have nonstick coatings and call for preheating prior to cooking. Though I suspect that such appliances wouldn’t reach temperatures as high as pots or pans on a stove, appliance makers should be interested in ensuring safety in their preheating instructions.

Dave Trendler
Alexandria, Va.

I read this article with sorrowful remembrance. About 10 years ago, we let an unattended, coated pot overheat when we fell asleep. Fortunately, the incident didn’t cause a major fire, but the artichokes and coating were charcoal crisp when we woke to the smoke alarm. We aired out the apartment and considered ourselves lucky until the next morning, when my lilac crested Amazon parrot was having trouble breathing and, within minutes, died in my hands. My lungs were sore and I had a headache and lack of energy for a few days. You didn’t mention what fumes were given off by the overheated coating, but I was told at the time that it was similar to mustard gas.

Colin Meskell
Bellvue, Colo.