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Is it safe to use Teflon tape on a kettle whistle? I have a stovetop stainless steel kettle with a whistle so I don't walk away and forget it. The two parts of the whistle keep falling off (one outside and the other into the kettle). Is it ok to put the two pieces together with the Teflon tape between them?

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Given that PTFE (Teflon) tape is meant for use on drinking water pipes, and PTFE is used for non-stick cookware (which gets much hotter than a kettle spout), I'd happily use it (the type for potable water).

Making a habit of consuming it probably isn't a good idea but flecks of non stick coating do sometimes get into food, without poisoning anyone.

I've recently read a research paper suggesting that PTFE could be used to bulk out food as a weight-loss aid: Polytetrafluoroethylene Ingestion as a Way to Increase Food Volume and Hence Satiety Without Increasing Calorie Content. I'm not sure I fancy it, and it would contribute to microplastic pollution - but the paper proposes PTFE making up 25% of foods, while the worst that could happen here is a few scraps. They say it's safe. In rats.

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    What a horrifying bit of research. Can't they just use sawdust, like the good old days. Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 23:53
  • @WayfaringStranger or (it came up in work) very fine silica, or several other stable minerals (e.g. TiO2, which is used as a white food colouring)
    – Chris H
    Commented Oct 16, 2019 at 6:06
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    The TiO2 thing is funny, because we paint our houses with it, but as a biochemist, fluorocarbons just give me the willies. Technically, there's probably no problem with it, but I'd sooner wash my hands in HCl. Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 1:37

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