Polymer Fume Fever

Published: | Updated: October 29, 2019

Definition - What does Polymer Fume Fever mean?

Polymer fume fever is a flu-like illness caused by exposure to fluoropolymer (Teflon) fumes. When polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is heated to high temperatures, fumes are released that may be inhaled. Teflon is often used in corrosion-resistant industrial coatings. The effects of polymer fume fever are often heat dependent, and are most likely to occur when Teflon is heated above 842°F (450°C).

Polymer fume fever is also known as fluoropolymer fever or Teflon flu.

Corrosionpedia explains Polymer Fume Fever

When Teflon is heated, the resulting fumes can produce flu-like symptoms in those who are exposed. Employees working in environments with heated Teflon should be provided with personal protective equipment.

Victims of polymer fume fever will often experience:

  • Chills
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Chest tightness
  • Mild cough

Onset occurs about four to eight hours after exposure. In some cases, severe toxic effects can occur, including pulmonary edema, pneumonitis and death.

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