PFAS in espresso

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Espressonepote

#1: Post by Espressonepote »

Ive learned that many espresso machines with non-burn steam wands use Teflon/PTFE tubes as the interior tube through which steam is conveyed.

I'm concerned about exposure to PFAS compounds given the relatively new understanding of the many ways the harm human health (https://www.epa.gov/pfas/our-current-un ... risks-pfas). Teflon is composed of PFAS, and I'm concerned that those compounds may leech into the finished milk/espresso drink.

Has anyone tested espresso made with a Teflon-tube-containing machine for PFAS in the finished drink? I turned up nothing in my research.

luvmy40

#2: Post by luvmy40 »

PTFE has to exceed 400 deg. F (closer to 500) to start emitting dangerous fumes. PTFE, under most, normal circumstances is non toxic.

Espressonepote (original poster)

#3: Post by Espressonepote (original poster) »

I'm not concerned about fumes but rather about the steam picking up trace amounts of the PFAS through friction or some other process.

baldheadracing
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#4: Post by baldheadracing »

You can pull out and remove the PTFE tube. Lots of people do that for performance reasons. You just have to touch the wand by the rubber grip.

Note that if you are worried about PFAS, then I suspect that you'll want a machine with a stainless steel steam wand instead of the more usual brass wands to avoid copper ... and a machine with internal stainless steel lines instead of copper or PTFE lines. To save you some searching, AFAIK, only Ascaso's newer machines have a completely stainless steel hot water path.

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redbone

#5: Post by redbone »

Sounds similar to Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) a.k.a. Teflon.
Between order and chaos there is espresso.
Semper discens.


Rob
LMWDP #549

Espressonepote (original poster)

#6: Post by Espressonepote (original poster) »

PTFE is a type of PFAS. Teflon is just a trade name for PTFE.

Espressonepote (original poster)

#7: Post by Espressonepote (original poster) »

I'm also very concerned with potential exposure to PFAS in espresso machines. If Teflon tubing was in fact not a source of exposure, PFAS testing companies wouldn't avoid it. They do - https://epaz.memberclicks.net/assets/do ... rofitt.pdf

emradguy
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#8: Post by emradguy »

The Teflon in the steam wand is likely an insert, designed to make the wand safe to touch and manipulate with your unprotected fingers...aka "no burn". Many people pull that tube out completely, as you get a drier steam flow without it. However, you then need to insulate the wand differently. You can buy a rubber sleeve from espresso parts (and other retailers) for less than $5.

PeetsFan
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#9: Post by PeetsFan »

Espressonepote wrote:I'm also very concerned with potential exposure to PFAS in espresso machines. If Teflon tubing was in fact not a source of exposure, PFAS testing companies wouldn't avoid it. They do - https://epaz.memberclicks.net/assets/do ... rofitt.pdf
I'm not a chemist, so I'm not qualified, but the question is whether the materials will break down into the water. I don't believe they do.

It's different if you are near a manufacturing or other site where the raw chemicals are used or where they're shredded into large enough quantities to affect a drinking water supply.

I know that PEX tubing is NSF certified for use in residential drinking water installations, and it is very commonly used.

Espresso machines have gone through a lot of changes in materials because many of the metals used contained lead and other toxic compounds. First they had to get rid of the lead solder, but there were additional remediations to ensure that the brass and copper didn't contain lead or other toxic compounds which could enter the water over time.

I'm not trying to frighten you, but I'm just trying to point out that there is more attention than ever to drinking water safety from materials in these devices and the plastic tubing isn't the only area of concern.

My own understanding is that you can remove the sleeve inside the steam wands but I would check with the manufacturer, because you may possibly be exposing the steaming water to a toxic soluble metal compound when you remove the tubing. I have no idea myself.

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HB
Admin

#10: Post by HB »

Espressonepote wrote:I'm also very concerned with potential exposure to PFAS in espresso machines.
FYI, rather than have two threads discussing the same subject, I merged your reply today and the follow-on replies from October's Teflon/Plastics in Espresso Machines back to this thread.
Dan Kehn